ESPN writer James Walker speculates about how the Patriots' WR corps will shake out:
Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney are locks. That leaves four roster spots, at most, for receivers. Deion Branch is in because he's a solid veteran who knows the offense well. I think you also keep Matthew Slater as the No. 7 receiver, mostly due to the fact he's a Pro Bowler on special teams and a team captain. The final two spots are really up in the air. I think Chad Ochocinco, Anthony Gonzalez and Donte Stallworth all have a realistic chance. Julian Edelman looks like the definite odd man out following the Gaffney signing.
Edelman is a versatile player who can return kicks and even play some defensive back if necessary. It's going to be interesting to see how the Patriots WR corps shakes out, but versatility is key for those players on the roster bubble.
WR Jabar Gaffney told Josina Anderson of ESPN that he will be signing a deal with the Patriots soon. Gaffney played for the Pats from 2006-2008, catching 85 passes for 1,059 yards and eight touchdowns. His production spiked after leaving New England, he has 187 catches over the last three years, but he was a reliable target for Tom Brady when he was in New England.
The Patriots have added Brandon Lloyd, Donte’ Stallworth and Anthony Gonzalez to a receiving group that already included Deion Branch, Chad Ochocinco and Julian Edelman. Wes Welker will also be back, whether he signs his franchise tender or a long-term deal, and that makes for a crowded depth chart.
The NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports that the deal is for two years.
"Ochocinco will be back in New England next year," Schefter says in the video above. "They believe that he'll spend this offseason immersing himself in the playbook, familiarizing himself with the Patriots' offense. They're going to bring all these wide receivers in and let them compete in training camp and the best receivers will play."
With Deion Branch re-upping, the Patriots now have 10 WRs on the roster. The depth chart currently looks like: Deion Branch, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Donte' Stallworth, Chad Ochocinco, Julian Edelman, Matt Slater, Anthony Gonzalez, Tiquan Underwood, Britt Davis.