The Patriots have completely reworked their group of receivers, but there’s no reason to think they’re done with the redesign. So far, the Pats have replaced Wes Welker with Danny Amendola and released Brandon Lloyd. Gone are Welker’s six years of reliable service and a combined 192 receptions for 2,265 yards and 10 touchdowns between him and Lloyd from a season ago. The incoming help includes Amendola, Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins, along with the return of special teams captain Matthew Slater and practice squad players Kamar Aiken, Jeremy Ebert and Andre Holmes. There’s a lot of unproven talent on the depth chart, but there still are ways to improve the situation. The reality is the decision to move on from Welker would have included a backup plan full of projections no matter how it was sliced, because the slot machine caught more passes from Tom Brady than anyone who ever has played the game. Take that much production from a lineup, even from one player, and it’s essentially like starting over. Amendola has been productive when healthy, but Jones and Jenkins are being paid as complementary parts. Jones had career highs with 41 catches for 443 yards and four touchdowns last season for the Bills, but he wasn’t guaranteed a dime in his three-year contract with the Pats. He’ll get a $200,000 reporting bonus each season, but he’ll have to produce to earn the rest. Jenkins, who got a one-year deal without any guaranteed money, caught 40 passes for 449 yards and two scores last season for the Vikings despite being dubbed “Molasses Mike.” Still, the deal shows Jenkins isn’t guaranteed to make the team. Of course, the Patriots’ reinforcements could come in the form of old friends, such as Julian Edelman, Deion Branch, Donte Stallworth or Jabar Gaffney. Or, the Pats could make a play for restricted free agents Emmanuel Sanders (third-round compensation) or Danario Alexander (no compensation) by the April 19 deadline. The rest of the free agent crop is drying up, though it includes Laurent Robinson, Josh Cribbs and David Nelson.
Pats not done at receiver
Boston Herald | Apr 2