On the surface, the Nate Washington signing seems like a good signing for the Patriots. Washington gives them some much needed size on the outside and he gives them a vertical threat. That’s what Washington brings to the table in theory. That’s not reality however.
At 32, Washington is no longer a starting receiver who can make big plays and put up big numbers. Those days are behind. Can he still take the cover off of a defense and make the occasional big play? Sure, but he’s no longer a big play threat. Teams don’t have to account for him anymore schematically.
That is why I don’t think he’ll make the Patriots out of training camp. Think about it. Edelman, Amendola, Hogan, Martin and Slater are all ahead of Washington on the depth chart. That means that Washington would need to have a great camp and he would have to beat out either Martin or dare I say, Slater for that fourth or fifth spot. Barring a highly productive camp, that’s not going to happen. The Patriots won’t carry more than five receivers going into the regular season. Bottom line. Washington is a JAG (Just another guy). He realistically has no shot of making the Patriots. I think he knows that and they know that.