When the Redskins let go of Jabar Gaffney, part of me thought that the Patriots might sign him. He was once a solid 3rd option for the Patriots (behind Moss and Welker), and had done well for the Broncos and even better for the Redskins.
Then I said to myself "the Patriots already have a packed stable of WRs. They won't sign Gaffney."
But the Patriots did sign him. And now that I've been able to think more about it, it makes sense.
The Patriots have Chad Ochocinco, Deion Branch, Brandon Lloyd, Anthony Gonzalez, Julian Edelman and Donte Stallworth. Wes Welker's status is still unknown, but you know the Patriots want to keep him. Gaffney is the 8th receiver to the party, but he's not the 8th in line. Matthew Slater is listed as a receiver, but his true value is on Special Teams. Still, 8 WRs on a team with a pair of tight-ends that combined for 169 catches is a bit weird. Brady threw 611 passes last year. There's only so many passes to go around.
But Gaffney is stability. He's the known variable. Look at the other guys. Most have a question mark. Ochocinco doesn't understand the playbook. Branch will be 33 when the season starts. Gonzalez hasn't caught a pass since 2010 and he only caught 5 that year. Edelman caught 4 passes last year. Stallworth only caught 22 passes last year and hasn't been the same since 2007 with the Pats.
Gaffney is pretty good. He caught 68 passes for 947 yards last year. He's a guy that Josh McDaniels likes to worth with, and worked under him in New England and Denver. You know what you're getting with Gaffney.
If you had to put 5 eligible receivers on the field for the Patriots, it'd be Gronkowski, Hernandez, Welker, Gaffney, and either Lloyd or Branch. And that's why the Patriots sign him.
Gaffney is the #2 receiver on this team behind Welker. He can run deep routes, go across the middle, and he doesn't whine when someone else gets the ball more than him. He works well in McDaniels' system.
This Patriots' off-season is getting ridiculous.