After winning a Super Bowl and then going on to test free agency, it looks like Dorsett will be staying put in New England, at least for now.
The deal is only for a year, giving him more of a “prove it” type situation, so this will be his most important year since coming into the league. Dorsett has shown flashes of his great speed and hands, but has never really found the snaps to be able to do it consistently.
Fear not though, even with Patterson on his way to the Windy City and Chris Hogan’s future up in the air, Dorsett will have all the opportunity to showcase why he was a first-round pick.
For Dorsett, it was never the fact that he couldn’t perform. He just wasn’t given the rightful chance to do so. During his two-year tenure in Indy, he found himself in the same situation he had dealt with in New England. Despite that, he has still managed to get better each year. Dorsett went from catching 46% of passes thrown his way in his rookie season to 56% in his second year, 66% in his third year, and all the way to 76% this last year. Obviously, he hasn’t seen much coming his way, but it’s a very promising stat moving forward. Yet another intriguing stat about Dorsett has been his yards per catch. His first three years, he was able to average a pretty 12.5 to 16.1, but saw that number dip a bit to 9.1 in 2018. This is something that should be going up in the 2019 season, along with his target share as well.
Dorsett was at the bottom of the bunch last year so he was never really given a consistent role, but that should change come next season. Currently, the Pats depth at receiver isn’t all that, although they aren’t done yet—which brings me to my next point. I do believe Dorsett will have a more productive year than last season, however, if Josh Gordon comes back from his suspension with no setbacks and we do sign/trade for an elite receiver, Dorsett is gonna find himself in the same hole he has for the past two years.
I wouldn’t say trading him is a definite, but it’s a real possibility. We only signed him to one year, so it didn’t seem like they were really all that set on bringing him back. I think this ultimately depends on the status of Gordon and when he’s going to be ready to play. Dorsett will get his chance at the start of the year, but in order to keep that role he is going to have to perform early on and stay consistent. If Gordon were to not come back for any reason, then Dorsett would probably see a big role all season.
I’m excited about bringing back Dorsett and I think he can have—probably—one of his best seasons yet. But remember, if everything works out the way it’s supposed to during free agency, Dorsett could very well be traded for an asset we may need down the road. But hey, you never know. He could also play himself into a new contract as well. So don’t underestimate Dorsett next year, he knows he’s going to have to do more than last year and he’s gonna come out looking to feast.
Photo: USA Today sports