FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Dontrelle Inman was signed by the New England Patriots this past May to a one-year deal worth up to $1.4 million. That's a cheap deal for a guy that put up 58 receptions, 810 yards, and four touchdowns three seasons ago with the Los Angeles Chargers.
After failing to see consistent playing time, Inman was traded to the Chicago Bears where he played the remainder of the 2017 season. Over the past two seasons, Inman has put up a combined total of 53 receptions, 647 yards, and four touchdowns. In his past two seasons, his combined totals fall short of the breakout campaign he experienced in 2016.
Inman's dip in numbers can be explained by his inconsistency, his inability to stay healthy, and his low catch rate. In 2018, Inman's true catch rate was 80% which ranked 63rd among qualified receivers.
It looks as if Inman has struggled with similar issues early in Patriots training camp, as CLNS Media Patriots beat reporter Evan Lazar had this to say about Inman following the team's third practice:
"The free-agent addition has been an afterthought through three training camp practices and June’s minicamp," he said. "He hasn’t been involved at all during team drills."
To not be involved in team drills this early in camp speaks volumes as to where Inman ranks on the current depth chart. Meanwhile, Maurice Harris, another free-agent acquisition, has continued to draw praise for his performance in OTAs and training camp.
With Julian Edelman, N'keal Harry, and Phillip Dorsett all but locks to make the roster, the last thing Inman should want to see is another receiver out-performing him in training camp. Heck, even undrafted rookie free agent Jakobi Meyers has made more noise than Inman here in the early stages of preseason.
If Inman wants to make the roster then he is going have to start making the most out of his reps, and fast or he could continue to fall on the depth chart.