The New England Patriots have reportedly re-signed wide receiver Phillip Dorsett to a one-year deal. Dorsett is a bit underrated, and I think it’s a good move for the Patriots. Combine that with the fact that they have very limited depth at the position right now, and it might even be a great move: Dorsett didn’t get a ton of playing time last season, but when he did, he made the most of it.
He caught 76.2% of the balls thrown his way, best on the team, and sixth best in the NFL last season. Yes, he was only targeted 42 times, but the point is, when his number was called, he was ready, and he executed. Dorsett is a solid route runner, who won’t be a consistent starter, but should make an impact as a depth receiver. He had 32 receptions last season after only 12 the year before.
I’d be surprised if that number doesn’t grow again this season. Dorsett had said that he was looking for the opportunity to start somewhere, so you have to think he believes the Patriots will use him more often than they did last year. Don’t be surprised is he has somewhere around 50 catches this year, especially after what he showed in the playoffs.
Overall, the Patriots got exactly what they covet: a good player who knows his role, and is prepared to perform when his number is called. Just look at the moves they’ve made on the first day of free agency. Jason McCourty probably won’t start, but is a reliable depth player, John Simon won’t start, but is a good depth edge who also plays special teams, and Brandon Bolden is a straight special teamer.
Matthew Slater, whose option was also picked up on Wednesday, could be one of the most important players on the team, and he doesn’t even have a real position. Add Dorsett to that list, and those are all reliable depth players. Guys who contribute in ways that may not show up on the stat sheet, but are important nonetheless. It’s what this dynasty has been built on, so why fix it if it isn’t broken? Dorsett has quickly become one of those reliable guys, and bringing him back may turn out to be more important than some people may realize.
Pat is a co-host or The Patriot Nation Podcast
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