Report: Patriots Make Move On WR Riley McCarron

The New England Patriots decided to release Riley McCarron and let him be claimed by other teams in the league. This was a huge surprise for everybody. But, there’s something even more surprising than this.

Riley McCarron is still unclaimed. Jeff Howe of The Athletic confirmed that McCarron is going back to New England. He will be part of the team’s practice squad.

The Patriots may benefit from this, as McCarron can develop into a future slot receiver in the team’s offense. McCarron had a strong preseason this year, and he grabbed four of his five targets for 49 yards against the Panthers. He was given a night off against the Giants in the final preseason matchup.

McCarron gives the Patriots more power in the receiving game. He also provides more depth in the return game. McCarron managed to field three kickoffs for 62 yards, and caught five punts for 15 yards.

New England signed McCarron to the practice squad last season after his game with the Houston Texans. The receiver was undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. During his time with the Hawkeyes, McCarron was able to catch 42 passes for 517 yards and touchdown.

McCarron got everyone’s attention after the comments from his former Texas head coach and former Patriots offensive coordinator. Bill O’Brien called him “the spitting image of Wes Welker.” Well, Welker was one of the most productive receivers in the New England’s history, so this may be sort a rather unrealistic expectation for McCarron.

Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett are the only receivers with knowledge of the team’s offense. The Patriots need more receivers for their unit. The team claimed Chad Henson and Amara Darboh.

The Patriots better keep McCarron in the fold, as he has better knowledge of the system. He’s been part of the team for a year after all.

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