The Patriots haven’t had much luck when it comes to early round receivers in past years, and it looks like they’re on the verge of having another name potentially added to the list of disappointing players.
According to MMQB’s Albert Breer, the Patriots have been shopping their former 2nd-round receiver Aaron Dobson, which may mean they’re ready to move on after what has been a frustrating run for him in New England.
Injuries have been what have hampered Dobson, with the receiver starting his rookie season off with a hamstring injury that kept him out of Week 1 that season against the Bills. But he managed to return for their Week 2 battle against the Jets and in that game he kicked things off in a big way. Dobson’s first career reception was a 39-yard touchdown, which also set a milestone for Brady as it was his 50th straight regular season game with a touchdown.
From there, Dobson was impressive after catching 37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns that season before a broken bone in his foot suffered in Week 12 ultimately derailed his campaign.
He was never the same, suffering a setback that offseason after having had a screw inserted into his foot in March, which according to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, kept him from even running on it until July. He was never able to get healthy and his 2014 season ended with Dobson being placed on injured reserve on December 4th.
2015 ended in the same fashion, with a high ankle sprain suffered against the Bills in November sending him to injured reserve for the second straight year.
That seemingly put the writing on the wall as he headed into a contract year for 2016 and Dobson has done his best to make the most of it. He’s stepped up this offseason and during training camp, making some circus catches and standing out as he tried to finally make this the year he emerged in this offense.
But that’s a familiar trend for Dobson, who has historically looked good during camp. However, it’s the regular season that has been the bigger issue, which Belichick commented on earlier this month as he seemed to doubt whether Dobson could stay completely healthy.
“You know, Aaron’s had a good spring and a good few days here at training camp. I think we’ve seen that from him before,” Belichick said via CSNNE. “I’d say Aaron just, for whatever reason, hasn’t been able to consistently be on the field and do it. You know, when he’s been out there he’s looked good a lot, but he hasn’t always been out there for one reason or another.
“Hopefully . . . I know he’s training hard, looks like he’s in good condition this year. Hopefully he’ll be able to stay on the field and continue to improve. I think that’s really the key, you know, it’s not just being healthy, but being healthy to practice and improve. And Aaron’s worked hard, he’s made some good catches, so hopefully he keeps climbing in that direction.”
Now it looks like if he does manage to put it all together this season, it might ultimately be somewhere else. That’s disappointing news as the Patriots have been looking for a 6’3″ athletic receiver that could be both a vertical and perimeter threat, which Dobson has shown at times he can be.
Unfortunately for Dobson, it’s a gamble that Belichick just might not be willing to take and if they do end up moving him, it will mark the end of another player with plenty of potential who just couldn’t live up to it here in New England.
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Tags: Aaron Dobson Bill Belichick Tom Brady