The Patriots will acquire wide receiver DeVante Parker and a draft pick from the Dolphins for a draft pick. Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The Patriots may have a new No. 1 wide receiver thanks to a division rival.

The Pats acquired Dolphins wideout DeVante Parker in a trade Saturday, a league source told the Boston Herald. According to reports, the Patriots also added a 2023 fifth-round pick in the deal in exchange for a 2023 third-rounder. Parker became expendable after Miami traded for Chiefs All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill and signed former Cowboys wideout Cedrick Wilson in free agency.

The 29-year-old finished with 40 catches for 515 yards and two touchdowns last season, a year interrupted by hamstring and shoulder injuries. Over his seven-year career, Parker has produced one 1,000-yard season, a 2019 campaign when he also set career highs in receptions (72) and receiving touchdowns (9). Since then, injuries have prevented the former first-round pick from topping 800 yards or 65 catches in a single season.

Parker has two years remaining on his contract, with modest base salaries of $5.65 million this season and $5.7 million in 2023. Adding Parker will reduce the Patriots’ current cap space close to zero. However, he helps address arguably the team’s biggest roster hole and grants the front office more flexibility heading into the draft.

Against the Patriots, Parker has consistently produced. Over a dozen head-to-head meetings, he’s averaged 50 yards and a touchdown per game. In 2019, he delivered arguably the best performance of his career during a shocking road upset that denied New England a first-round playoff bye.

That afternoon, Parker dominated Stephon Gilmore, then an All-Pro and the future Defensive Player of the Year, by catching eight passes for 137 yards in a regular-season finale. Parker did so while catching passes from journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and executing an offense run by former Pats offensive assistant Chad O’Shea.


Months later, Pats Coach Bill Belichick spoke highly of Parker before his 2020 season opener, saying the veteran can align at all three receiver spots and produce at every level of the field.

“He’s got a very, very good skill set. He’s a big athlete that runs well. Has good hands, good run after the catch ability, and good quickness for his size. So, he presents a lot of problems on deep balls,” Belichick said. “He’s a big target on the end of routes, in cuts and crossing routes, things like that. He’s strong and can break tackles as a catcher or run player.

“He attacks all three levels of the defense and can be productive at all three spots.”

Parker now joins Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry on the team’s depth chart. At 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds, he should provide a uniquely physical presence among the team’s current wideouts. His addition could make Harry expendable, considering the former first-rounder is entering the final year of his contract and has disappointed to date.

Parker’s arrival also inspired a few of his new teammates to take to social media with their excitement, including tackle Trent Brown and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, a former teammate in Miami. Parker’s agent, Jimmy Gould, expressed his own delight with the trade in comments made to the Boston Herald.

“It’s s great fit,” Gould texted. “I think the world of Coach Belichick who is an old friend of mine. DeVante is not only an incredibly talented athlete, but a deeply thoughtful and special person.”

Parker entered the league as the 14th overall pick in 2015. He struggled as a rookie, but made a significant leap the following season, catching 56 passes for 744 yards and four touchdowns. He failed to match that production the following two years, limited by injury and poor quarterback play, before finally breaking out in 2019.

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