In the span of a few hours, the Patriots have re-signed one of their own wideouts and reached outside the organization for some useful depth. That depth comes in the form of former Panthers wide receiver Brandon LaFell , who has agreed to a three-year deal as first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter. His contract is worth $11 million.
LaFell, a third-round bust for pretty much every one of his four years in Carolina, set career-highs in receptions (49) and touchdowns (5) last season. He finished with less than 700 yards for the third consecutive season.
This comes after the Patriots re-signed Julian Edelman earlier Saturday.
If I may offer my two cents on the more newsworthy story about a Patriots receiver today ... Getting Eelman back was huge. You may not think of him as a great player, but he has Brady's trust as a bona fide safety value. The dude caught 105 passes last season. And with questions about the health of tight end Rob Gronkowski , and the unknown of how quickly young WRs Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins will develop into the consistent playmakers the Patriots imagine they can be, Edelman gives this offense much-needed stability. If everything goes according to plan for the rest of this corps, Edelman shouldn't be as productive in 2014 -- especially if Danny Amendola can put in 16 games -- but he is a very important player for New England.
LaFell is purely a reserve. He will challenge for snaps and will be there if Thompkins doesn't take a leap forward in his sophomore season or if Dobson's foot issues continue. But even with Tom Brady as his QB, I don't see LaFell's fantasy stock rising notably.
Meanwhile, the Panthers, after losing LaFell, Steve Smith, Ted Ginn, and Domenik Hixon in a span of about 48 hours, are basically starting over at wide receiver. They will have to sign somebody of note at that position soon. Someone out there must go get Cam Newton's thoughts on the current state of the Panthers' wideouts.