Now that he’s finally at full strength for the first time as a Patriot, Josh Boyce has strung together a pair of performances fitting of a player who belongs. His resurgence is going to make the competition for the final wideout spot all the more intense over the next three months.
Boyce isn’t afforded the time for that anyway as the Patriots press onward with a tough battle for jobs. Talents notwithstanding, Julian Edelman ($5 million signing bonus), Brandon LaFell ($3 million signing bonus), Danny Amendola ($4.8 million cap hit if released, plus loss of $2 million in guaranteed cash in base salary) and Aaron Dobson (a 2013 second-round pick) are locked into the roster based on business standards.
Since the Pats haven’t carried more than five receivers on the 53-man roster in each of the past five seasons (not including special teams captain Matthew Slater), that leaves one spot for Boyce, Kenbrell Thompkins and seventh-rounder Jeremy Gallon if the pattern holds. Thompkins became a fan favorite after a blistering start in 2013 while Boyce never distinguished himself.
It’s been much different during OTAs. Boyce’s speed and quickness have been apparent during practices, as his footwork and precision have helped him separate at times while he gets in and out of his breaks.
The Patriots' WR corps is crowded, but it looks like Boyce or Thompkins are fighting for one spot.