NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
Earlier this off-season the Patriots brought back one of Tom Brady’s favorite receivers from the historic 2007 season in Donte Stallworth. On Wednesday they reunited Brady with another one of his all-tine favorite receiving targets by agreeing to a two-year deal with WR Jabar Gaffney who last played for the Patriots during the 2008 season.
Jabar Gaffney was released by the Washington Redskins yesterday and it didn’t take him long to find a new home. On Tuesday he agreed to a two year deal with the New England Patriots re-uniting him with QB Tom Brady.
Gaffney is coming off a career season with the Washington Redskins. He caught a career high 68 passes for 947 yards and 5 touchdowns. It was Gaffney’s lone season in Washington. During the previous two seasons Gaffney played for the Denver Broncos whose head coach at the time is current New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. When McDaniels was hired as head coach in Denver he brought Gaffney in to provide a reliable veteran presences at wide receiver.
Gaffney last played for the New England Patriots during the 2008 season. In his three seasons with the Patriots Gaffney posted 85 recpetions for 1059 yards and 8 touchdowns. His most memorable reception probably came vs. the Baltimore Ravens during the 2007 season. The catch came late in the 4th quarter and keep the Patriots undefeated season alive at the time. Over the course of his time in New England, Gaffney became a favorite of QB Tom Brady as he provided a very reliable #3 possession receiver. The Patriots have struggled to find a replacement for the type of production he provided from the #3-4 wide receiver spot.
Gaffney is the latest free agent signing to join the Patriots roster this off-season. Donte Stallworth, Brandon Lloyd and Anthony Gonzalez all have signed free agent deals in New England since the free agent signing period begain in March.
By adding Gaffney to an already deep position, the competition for roster spots in camp will be fierce. As of this time I would consider Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney the favorites and near locks to make the roster. That would leave Deion Branch, Donte Stallworth, Anthony Gonzalez, Chad Ochocinco and Julian Edelman to fight it out for 2-3 spots.