NFL Rumors: New England Patriots Wide Receiver Could Be Cap Casualty

The New England Patriots may already regret one of their 2022 offseason splashes. According to the Athletic's Chad Graff, the Patriots could part with wide receiver DeVante Parker if they end up signing former Arizona Cardinal DeAndre Hopkins.

The Patriots acquired Parker from the Miami Dolphins in a rare intra-divisional trade last April, forking over a 2023 third-round pick. He finished second on the team with 539 yards as a big-bodied jump ball specialist, averaging an impressive 11.5 yards per target. Unfortunately, the Patriots offense struggled overall, finishing 17th in points scored and 26th in yards gained.

Parker didn't quite live up to expectations following the trade, and the Patriots are notoriously fickle when it comes to their wide receivers. That being said, his contract is arguably an asset: he's set to earn a mere $6.2 million in non-guaranteed money in the final year of a three-year extension. Given his efficiency and ceiling, that's good value, and the Patriots could eventually receive a compensatory draft pick if he plays out his deal and hits free agency.

That all being said, those are ancillary concerns if Parker can't get on the field. The Patriots signed Juju Smith-Schuster in free agency this past March, and they remain a favorite to sign Hopkins. If Parker can't crack one of the top three spots in the Patriots' receiver rotation, his cap number will be impossible to justify. Even if it means admitting a division rival got the better of them.

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