The Patriots are getting a starting-caliber wide receiver at a relatively small cost, sending a 2023 third-round draft pick to Miami for Parker and a 2022 fifth-rounder. The Dolphins, meanwhile, are clearing some cap space while also getting something in return for a player who was facing a limited role within their revamped offense.
As for the player in question, he apparently is also quite happy to end up in New England. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots were Parker’s preferred destination in case of a trade.
“From my understanding, this is someone that Coach Bill Belichick has liked for a long time, has always respected his skill set and really someone that he considers to be a solid addition to his receiving corps,” Rapoport said on the air on Monday. “And then it went the other way, too. DeVante Parker wanted to be a member of the New England Patriots.
“He didn’t have a no-trade clause, so he didn’t have the power like that. It’s not like he’s Russell Wilson. But from my understanding, he made it very clear that he wanted to be a member of the Patriots. And as soon as general manager Chris Grier realized that was the best deal that they could get, it worked out well for all sides.”
A former first-round draft pick, who originally arrived in Miami in 2015, Parker’s tenure as a Dolphin was one of unfulfilled promise. He was productive when on the field, catching 342 passes for 4,782 yards and 24 touchdowns in 94 career games, but repeatedly missed time due to injury: Parker went through a full season just once in his seven NFL seasons, and never quite lived up to the expectations coming with his draft position.
With the Dolphins in a process of retooling their wide receiver group around third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Parker suddenly found himself on the outside looking in: trade acquisition Tyreek Hill, second-year man Jaylen Waddle, and free agency pickup Cedrick Wilson Jr. will be the top three at the wide receiver spot moving forward.
The 29-year-old himself, on the other hand, had no real future in Miami. Grier and his Patriots counterparts led by de facto GM Bill Belichick were therefore able to work out a rare in-division trade — one that has helped New England bolster a position of need, and Parker to get a fresh start in with a desired organization.