FOXBOROUGH – The revolving door of wide receivers for the New England Patriots continued this week when the entire makeup of the receiving corps shifted for the team. Granted, Phillip Dorsett will remain a deep threat for the Patriots and Julian Edelman will remain the top slot option. However, when Josh Gordon hurt his knee during New England's victory over the New York Giants earlier this month and rookie wideout N'Keal Harry was not ready to return to game play, it became clear that the Patriots were in the market for receivers.
According to reports, New England inquired about receivers like Cincinnati's A.J. Green and Denver's Emmanuel Sanders, but the asking price was too high. (Even free agent Antonio Brown was back in the mix for a bit there. Thankfully, Bill Belichick steered clear.) Instead, New England decided to acquire Mohamed Sanu, a wide receiver from the Atlanta Falcons, in exchange for a second round draft pick.
Sanu will likely serve as the Patriots' top deep threat and as a wideout who can run routes on the sidelines instead of simply across the middle or on the line of scrimmage. At 6'2", Sanu will aim to provide some challenge off the ball for opposing secondaries and the team also hopes that he will, more crucially, stay healthy. Gordon and Harry both suffered injuries that landed them on the injured reserve and Edelman and Dorsett have both been present on the injury reports on a weekly basis. Tight end Benjamin Watson only just rejoined the team.
This season, Sanu has caught 33 passes for 313 yards and a touchdown, but at thirty years old, he also provides a level of experience that will be invaluable to Tom Brady. After all, Brady managed to pull off a Super Bowl with his team last year when the best receiving options were Edelman and a half-healthy Rob Gronkowski. It seemed like he was not interested in attempting to do that again. Sanu will hopefully remedy that. At thirty years old, he should be able to click readily with Brady and he still has the capacity to be explosive, which is critical to the success of the offense. In his eight-year career, Sanu has 377 receptions for 4,300 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Unfortunately, Sanu's acquisition does come at the cost of Gordon. While New England did place him on the IR, it was only a minor placement and not a season-ending one. Gordon believes he will be healthy soon and, upon that moment, New England will be forced to waive him, which ESPN reports they are prepared to do. It seems like the Josh Gordon era in New England is over and he could be catching passes for another team soon. I really like Gordon and will always be rooting for him. He's worked hard to overcome his demons and he deserves an opportunity to rise to his full potential as a talented receiver.
That being said, I am ready to ride with Sanu! Let's see what he can bring to the team!
Image via Wikimedia Commons / Erik Drost