NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
The Patriots began rebuilding their WR corps on Saturday by signing former Indianapolis Colts WR Anthony Gonzalez to a deal on Saturday.
Many people were expecting the Patriots to sign a WR on Saturday just not Anthony Gonzalez. Gonzalez entered the league as a first round pick out of Ohio State. He enjoyed two pretty solid years acting as Peyton Manning’s slot WR in Indianapolis. Through his first two seasons in the league Gonzalez totaled 94 receptions for 1240 yards and 7 touchdowns. His future looked bright in Indy as he began to emerge as the safety valve for Peyton Manning.
Since 2008 things have not gone smoothly for Gonzalez. In 2009 he injured his right knee in week one and was unable to play again that year. He worked his way back only to tear his PCL in 2010 and missed almost the whole year. After those two injuries Gonzalez saw his playing time disappear as the Colts went with Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon. Since 2008 Gonzalez has only caught 5 balls for 67 yards.
This is a typical Patriots signing trying to find a diamond in the rough. If Gonzalez can stay healthy he can provide a backup and insurance for Wes Welker. I’m sure the Patriots would like to ease the playing time on Welker to keep him healthy the entire season. There is little risk involved with the signing as the money and years are likely minimal. If Gonzalez returns to pre-injury form than the Patriots have found themselves another weapon for Tom Brady. This goes along with the plan to add more speed to the WR position. Gonzalez is still only 27 years old, so the potential is there for him to resurrect his career.
Gonzalez is the first of what is likely to be many WRs who are brought into the Patriots organization this off season. Rumors were abound Saturday that the Patriots were close to signing Brandon Lloyd to a deal and this signing doesn’t change that.