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Contract Details: New DeVante Deal 'DeAndre-Friendly' For Patriots?

New details have emerged surrounding receiver DeVante Parker’s three-year, $33 million contract extension with the New England Patriots.

FOXBORO — As the collective eyes of New England Patriots fandom awaits word on the playing destination of free-agent receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Pats veteran DeVante Parker is apparently ready to take his future into his own hands. 

Having reportedly agreed to a three-year contract extension with the club last week, additional details are beginning to emerge regarding the structure of his deal, which will keep the 30-year-old in New England through the 2025 NFL season. 

As expected, Parker’s new pact with the Patriots is heavily incentive-laden, allowing him to earn up to the $33 million maximum through playing time and performance-based milestones.  However, a Monday afternoon report from Fox Sports has shed some new light on the manner in which the Louisville product may maximize his earnings in the coming seasons. 

In short, Parker’s deal amounts to what is known in NFL circles as a “pay-as-he-produces” deal — with incentive tiers based on the following categories: receptions, yards, playing time percentage and All-Pro honors. Though additional details must be made available to determine New England’s savings against the salary cap [per Patriots salary cap expert Miguel Benzan,] the extension is expected to clear only a minimal amount of space.  

As New England is clearly demonstrating their faith in Parker, they are also placing the success of his deal squarely on his shoulders. After all, the Louisville product is coming off a season in which he statistically underwhelmed — logging only 31 catches for 539 yards and three touchdowns, while adding to an already questionable injury history. He suffered a concussion in Week 13, which would sideline him for four games, limiting him to 13 games played in 2022. 

Still, Parker is seemingly entering 2023 with a renewed purpose. Despite the limited sample size of practices and team activities open to media observation, he has been the teams top receiver; in terms of both targets and on-field leadership. As such, he is capable of making an impact on the Patriots passing offense under new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

While Parker’s extension may be met with some opposition throughout the fan base, there is sufficient evidence to warrant his place within the Pats offense. He has both the size and toughness to make contested catches, while giving quarterback Mac Jones a viable red zone target at the receiver position. Not only did he earn 10 contested grabs (each leading to receptions of 20-plus yards,) he also averaged 11.5 yards per target last season. With Jones taking more control over the Pats offense at the line of scrimmage, Parker may be in line a a significant increase in targets, alongside fellow receivers Kendrick Bourne, Tyquan Thornton, JuJu Smith-Schuster and slot/tight end Mike Gesicki. Should the Pats add Hopkins’ services as well, the Pats would possess two sizable receivers capable of aligning on the line of scrimmage to bolster their passing attack. 

Though the deal may be considered low-risk for New England, it is truly high-reward for both sides. Whether the team adds an additional member to the group is still a matter of conjecture. Still, it is abundantly clear that they have solidified Parker’s future in Foxboro for the foreseeable future — at a reasonable cost. 

Follow Mike D’Abate on Twitter @mdabateNFL and Listen/Subscribe to his daily podcast: Locked On Patriots

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