By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday decided to part ways with veteran wide receiver Brandon LaFell.READ MORE: Father Pulls Kids To Safety After Truck Sideswipes School Bus In Groveland
According to LaFell’s agent, Jonathan Feinsod, it’s a move that he and LaFell have been asking to be made “for some time now.”
LaFell, who will turn 32 years old during the 2018 season, caught 52 passes for 548 yards and three touchdowns for the Bengals last year. In 2016, he caught 64 passes for 862 yards and six touchdowns.READ MORE: Police Seek Driver In Worcester Hit-And-Run That Injured 11-Year-Old Boy
Considering the Patriots are looking a bit sparse at the receiver position, especially after losing Jordan Matthews to a training camp hamstring injury, it’s worth wondering if the team might make a call to the 6-foot-3 receiver.
LaFell spent two years with the Patriots, notably contributing on the team’s 2014 run to a Super Bowl XLIX victory over Seattle. That season, he caught 74 passes for 953 yards and seven touchdowns while suiting up for all 16 regular-season games. In three playoff games, he caught 13 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Included in that postseason was his game-winning touchdown catch to help defeat the Ravens in the divisional round, as well as a touchdown reception to open the scoring in the Super Bowl, which the Patriots won by four points.
LaFell remained with the Patriots for the 2015 season but a foot injury forced him to start the year on the PUP list. He’d play just 11 games, with his effectiveness dropping significantly.
But if he’s currently healthy, he’s proven already that he can work in the Patriots’ offense. He may not be exactly what they’re looking for at the position, as LaFell can line up in the slot but is much more of an outside receiver. Yet with a receiving corps that will be missing Julian Edelman for four games and may be relying on the likes of Cordarrelle Patterson and Riley McCarron, the Patriots could do much worse than LaFell in terms of adding a reliable veteran to help move the chains and put some points on the board for an offense that will need them.
UPDATE: The Patriots will reportedly sign veteran free-agent receiver Eric Decker.MORE NEWS: US Advisers Endorse Pfizer COVID Shot For Kids 12 And Up