After hosting him on a free agent visit on Monday, the Patriots are in the process of signing 12-year veteran wide receiver Nate Washington, via Field Yates on Twitter.
The 32 year-old Washington began his career in 2005 with the Steelers and won a Super Bowl right off the bat despite not making a single catch the entire regular season his rookie year. His first career reception came in the AFC Championship game. In his second Super Bowl season with the Steelers in 2008, he caught 40 passes for 631 yards.
Washington’s best years were in Tennessee. He played with the Titans from 2009-2014 and twice caught over 50 passes, including 74 for over a thousand yards in 2011. Last season he played for the Houston Texans. In 14 games he caught 47 passes for 658 yards and four touchdowns.
The Patriots WR depth chart currently consists of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Keshawn Martin, Chris Hogan, Aaron Dobson, Chris Harper, and DeAndre Carter.
At 6’1″, 183 pounds, Washington could add even more quickness to a receiving core that’s already full of shifty, elusive wideouts. It also helps that he’s coming from Bill O’Brien’s system in Houston, as O’Brien spent five years as a coach with the Pats and was their offensive coordinator in 2011.
The only problem with Nate Washington is that he’s on the wrong side of 30, but the Patriots will likely be looking to him to contribute in ways other than his play on the field. According to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, his “leadership was instrumental in the locker room” last season, despite having some issues with injuries and dropped passes.
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Photo Credit: Matt Patterson/Associated Press via NFL.com