Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/23/13
During the past offseason, the New England Patriots have completely restructured their receiving corp, parting ways with veterans Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch, and Wes Welker, while adding Michael Jenkins, Danny Amendola, and Donald Jones (Oh wait, they already cut him) through free agency, as well as drafting Aaron Dobson of Rutgers and Josh Boyce of TCU.Factoring in the Gronkowski injury and the arrest of He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned By The NFL, Tom Brady and company face their biggest challenge on offense since the 2006 season.  The question now shifts from who will the Patriots bring in to what can we expect of these new additions.  To look ahead we must first look to the past....Since Bill Belichick took over as Head Coach in New England following the 1999 season, the wide receiver position has been a revolving door (with a very few notable exceptions, but we'll get there).  In fact during the twelve and a half years that belichick has been in charge in New England, he has added through the draft, trade or free agency 36 wide receivers that made the Patriots regular season roster (per Pro-Football-Reference.com)  (Deion Branch and Donte Stallworth both had two stints with the team, bringing the sample size to 38 with the repeats).  Of those 38 player stints, 26 made little to no contribution to the Patriots offense (I will list all of the players below) during their tenure with the team. Eight players (including Galloways first signing with the team and Branch's second) had above average to good seasons or careers in New England.  That leaves only five wide receivers as having made an unquestionable and lasting impact with Tom Brady and the New England offense.  Those players are David Givens, Deion Branch (in his first go round), David Patten, Wes Welker, and Randy Moss.  Givens and Branch are the only two that Belichick has drafted (both in 2002), whereas Patten was a free agency acquisition (2001) and Moss and Welker were both brought in via trade before the 2007 season.When you average the five successful receivers that the Patriots have acquired against the 38 total, you will find that Bill Belichick has had a 13.2% success rate at that position.  13.2% SUCCESS RATE!The Patriots currently have twelve wide receivers listed on their roster, including practice squad players.  Nine of those players were brought in this offseason.  Given Belichick's 13% rate at identifying successful wideouts, that means that there is a decent chance that one of these players will end up being significant contributors on offense.  What remains to be seen is whether those contributions will mirror those of Reche Caldwell and Brandon lloyd, or Wes Welker and Randy Moss.In Bill we trust indeed....Oh and for everyone waiting to see the list of players here you go:Twenty Six swings and misses:Shockmain Davis, Curtis Jackson, Chris Calloway, Charles Johnson, Bert Emanuel, Fred Coleman, Donald Hayes, JJ Stokes, Dedric Ward, P.K. Sam, Kevin kasper, Bam Childress, Andre Davis, Johnathan Smith, Kelvin Kight, Chad Jackson, Doug Gabriel, Kelley Washington*, Sam Aiken, Joey Galloway, Taylor Price, Tiquan Underwood**, Chad Ochocinco, Kamar Aiken, Donte Stallworth (second stint), Matthew Slater^.Eight contributors:Bethel Johnson, Reche Caldwell^, Jabar Gaffney, Donte Stallworth (first stint), Julian Edelman+, Brandon Tate, Deion Branch (second stint), Brandon Lloyd.The Five Studs:David Patten, David Givens, Deion Branch (first stint), Wes Welker, and Randy Moss.*Washington made some contributions on special teams but is most famous in New England for a slow motion replay of him downing a punt without all of the necessary equipment on.  Patriots fans now know he leans to the left.**Underwood was famously cut by the patriots the night before their Superbowl rematch with the New York Giants.  After he did this too: ^ A lot of people will give me grief for having Caldwell as a contributor and Pro Bowl special teamer in the swings and misses.  We are talking strictly about on field, offensive production, and in 2006 Caldwell was the patriots leading receiver, despite having the eyes of a wall-eyed pike.
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