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DeVante Parker trade grades: Dolphins, Patriots are both winners in deal for veteran wide receiver


The Dolphins took a big-name wide receiver from a fellow AFC contender this offseason, landing Tyreek Hill in a blockbuster trade with the Chiefs. On Saturday, they flipped one of their own within the conference, sending former starter DeVante Parker to the rival Patriots in a swap of draft picks, as ESPN and NFL Media reported and Parker’s agent confirmed.

The Dolphins are getting a 2023 third-round pick from the Patriots, while New England is getting Parker and a 2022 fifth-round pick. But which side won the AFC East swap? Here are our instant grades:

Dolphins: B+

In a normal year, you’d probably prefer to retain Parker, 29, rather than deal him for the equivalent of a late fifth-rounder. He’s been a solid, if decreasingly explosive, outside starter for years. But this isn’t a normal year for the Dolphins, who just surrendered all kinds of picks for — and committed $30 million per year to — new No. 1 Tyreek Hill; paid Cedrick Wilson Jr. for a top-three role; and have Jaylen Waddle locked into a starting gig. Parker’s days were understandably numbered.

Saving $3.3 million in 2022, and another $6+ million in 2023, is a bonus, as is adding a second third-rounder to a draft haul that also includes two firsts. The return, again, isn’t massive, but it was never going to be. They also can’t really feel bad about sending him inside the division, because they just spent a fortune to ensure they have one of the best wideouts in the NFL anyway.

Patriots: B+

One man’s castoff is another man’s underrated gamble. The Pats are giving up the value of a late fifth to get a guy with 64 starts and proven jump-ball ability at a position that needed more help this offseason. At a reasonable $5.6 million base salary in 2022, Parker brings both size and playmaking ability to a receiving corps also featuring Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. Worst-case scenario, he battles more injury issues, which plagued him in 2021, and the Pats roll with their WR lineup from a year ago. Best case, he gives young Mac Jones a legitimate No. 2-level target on the outside.

The cost is even less considering the Pats are also expecting to net a 2023 third-round pick as a result of cornerback J.C. Jackson leaving via free agency this offseason, per ESPN. Call it a low-risk, win-win trade for both sides.





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