In-division trades are rather rare in the NFL, but the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins manufactured one of them over the weekend: New England picked up wide receiver DeVante Parker and a 2022 fifth-round draft choice for a 2023 third-rounder.
The trade makes sense for all parties involved, and was apparently the preferred outcome for Parker himself as well. Him coming to New England did not happen because of a lack of alternatives, however.
According to reports by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Adam Schefter, multiple teams expressed some level of interest in Parker before he was eventually sent to New England. Among those clubs were the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons.
All of them had “some level of talks” with either the Dolphins or Parker’s agent, but nothing materialized until New England got involved. Given the Patriots’ status as a division rival, this suggests one of two things: the club either made the only suitable offer to acquire the 29-year-old former first-round draft pick, or that it clearly outbid the other teams trying to bring Parker on board.
Regardless of circumstances — Parker’s role in making the move work cannot be underestimated either — New England was able to pick up a starter-level wideout on a reasonable contract without having to pay a premium.
The 14th overall selection in the 2015 draft, Parker spent the first seven years of his career in New England. He was productive when on the field, catching 342 passes for 4,782 yards and 24 touchdowns in 94 career games, but struggled to stay healthy: Parker went through a full season just once since arriving in the NFL, and failed to meet the natural expectations coming with his draft position.
Now, he will get a chance to revitalize his career. Instead of playing a rotational role alongside Miami wideouts Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Cedrick Wilson Jr., Parker is expected to see regular action as a Patriot.