If everyone is to be believed at face value, then the Patriots’ trade for DeVante Parker on April 5 truly was a win-win-win.
The Patriots got the big, jump-ball receiver they need on the outside.
The Dolphins got the draft pick they covet.
And Parker landed with his preferred team.
“First on my list was the Patriots,” Parker said Thursday as the Patriots wrapped up their first week of offseason training. “The Patriots have a great organization, and the fans here are just outstanding. I know from experience coming in here how the fans were. That’s just something I wanted to be a part of.”
The Patriots got Parker and a 2022 fifth-round pick for a 2023 third-round pick. Parker was the Dolphins’ first-round pick in 2014, but they no longer had a need for him after acquiring receivers Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson this offseason to go along with Jaylen Waddle.
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said Wednesday the Patriots got Parker because they made the best offer.
“Multiple teams called. The Patriots were the most aggressive,” Grier said. “Getting that third-round pick was very important for us, and we were fine if it was this year or next year.”
But Grier also said the Dolphins wanted “to do right by the player,” indicating that Parker wanted to come to the Patriots.
The Patriots assumed Parker’s contract, which has two years and $12.55 million remaining.
A 6-foot-3-inch receiver who excels on contested catches but isn’t considered a speed burner, Parker has 24 touchdowns and 4,727 yards in seven NFL seasons. In 12 career games against the Patriots, he had 597 yards and a touchdown, with three games of at least 100 yards.
He has battled various injuries throughout his career, and played in just 10 of 17 games last year. But Parker was excellent in 2019, the one season he played in all 16 games. He had 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns that year, punctuating his season with an eight-catch, 137-yard performance in a Week 17 upset win at Gillette Stadium that prevented the Patriots from getting a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Parker’s best season was also the year that former Patriots assistant coach Chad O’Shea was the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator.
“The offenses were very similar,” Parker said. “The ability to have the guys move around to different spots, that’s what helped a lot for me and whoever else is in that position.”
Parker, who missed 20 games and was hampered for several more in seven seasons with the Dolphins, said he is working more on his conditioning this offseason.
“I’m doing a lot more running than I have been in the past,” Parker said. “That’s something I really try to harp on and work on a lot.”
Parker joined his new teammates in Florida last week for an informal workout, running routes with fellow receivers Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and Nelson Agholor, and catching passes from quarterback Mac Jones.
“The workouts were great,” Parker said. “My impression of Mac is he’s got a nice arm on him, a little zip on it. It was just a great workout for all of us, and it was good for me to come down and start throwing with him early, as soon as I can to get the timing down.”
Now Parker is in Foxborough, getting to know his new teammates and learning how the Patriots conduct their business.
“Still trying to find my way around the meeting rooms and stuff like that,” Parker said. “I chose to get traded here, and I’m looking forward to it. Great guys already, they brought me in just like a family.”
Ben Volin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.