Wide receiver Braxton Berrios was one of four players the New England Patriots saw claimed off waivers on Sunday afternoon.
He was one of three that were claimed within the AFC East.
And in Adam Gase’s Labor Day press conference, the New York Jets head coach explained the thought process that went into being awarded the 2018 sixth-round draft pick.
“We felt like this was just a good opportunity for us,” Gase told reporters in East Rutherford on Monday. “It was somebody that we – especially a lot of guys on this staff that were in Miami – had a lot of exposure to in the past. Obviously when you’re a guy that’s played in New England, that’s kind of a similar system. This is kind of a break-off of what they’ve done.”
Gase then referenced Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, whom he served as wide receivers coach under while with the Denver Broncos during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
“Just with my time with Josh, he’s influenced me a lot as far as what we do offensively,” the 41-year-old Gase said of the 43-year-old McDaniels. “When you’re a guy that’s played in that offense, there’s a fit with our offense.”
Berrios led the Miami Hurricanes with 55 receptions, 679 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns as a senior in 2017. The slot target also served as Miami’s primary punt returner on the way to averaging nearly 16 yards per return that fall.
Gase foresees a role in both spots for Berrios, who spent the entirety of his rookie season with New England on injured reserve before being waived ahead of Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET 53-man roster deadline.
New England’s active depth chart currently stands with Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski and a captain of the kicking game in Matthew Slater.
Berrios, 23, currently stands in green and white.
“He’s a guy that – historically, coming out of college – was really good at getting open out of the slot,” added Gase. “He has good experience as far as punt returner goes. There’s a lot of confidence there.”
Gase noted that during his time as Miami Dolphins head coach, the local pro day provided an extended look at New England’s eventual draft selection.
“He was a guy we actually spent a little more time with,” Gase said of pick No. 210 overall. “We were excited to kind of see how the draft went to see what happened there. We were in a unique position because we did have a lot of guys at the wideout spot that weren’t going anywhere, and he was a guy that we were really interested in. Kind of the way this worked out, it’ll be interesting because he was a guy we wanted to work with.”
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Berrios caught three passes for 45 yards for New England over three games of preseason action this August.
New York waived undrafted Wake Forest receiver and returner Greg Dortch – now signed to the practice squad – in a corresponding move.
Berrios is now scheduled to revisit the Patriots as a Jet on Sept. 22 and Oct. 21.