BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots have signed a wide receiver, but his name is not Dez Bryant.
The Patriots are signing former first-round pick Corey Coleman, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Coleman was a bust for the Cleveland Browns after they drafted him 15th overall out of Baylor in 2016, but maybe the 24-year-old can get his career going with Tom Brady now throwing him passes.
The 5-foot-11 Coleman had 56 receptions for 718 yards and five touchdowns in his two seasons with the Browns. Cleveland traded Coleman to the Buffalo Bills in August, receiving just a 2020 seventh-round pick in return. He was released by the Bills when they finalized their 53-man roster ahead of the regular season.
Now the Patriots will see if he can catch on in their offense, which is no easy task for new receivers. Maybe he will go down a path similar to Phillip Dorsett, who was a spectator for much of his first season in New England before emerging this season. But the Patriots could certainly use some help at the position in the present, as Julian Edelman serves his four-game suspension.
Coleman’s best game last season came against Jalen Ramsey and the Jacksonville Jaguars defense, hauling in six catches for 80 yards. New England plays the Jaguars in Week 2.
In addition to Coleman, the Patriots also reportedly signed wide receiver Bennie Fowler III, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Fowler went undrafted in 2014 but spent four seasons with the Denver Broncos, catching 56 passes for 698 yards and five touchdowns in 45 games. He played in all 16 games in 2017, starting four for Denver, and finished the year with 29 receptions, 350 yards and three touchdowns. Fowler signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears over the offseason but was cut before the start of the regular season.
With their two new additions on Tuesday, the Patriots now have Chris Hogan, Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, Coleman and Fowler on their wide receiver depth chart.
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