NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the Buffalo wideout, a restricted free agent, agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract to join New England, per a source involved in the deal. The Patriots later announced Hogan signed the deal.
So why is New England chasing the little-used receiver who became a Hard Knocks fan favorite as a Dolphins rookie in 2012?
Despite catching just 36 balls for 450 yards last season, Hogan -- known as "7-Eleven" because, in theory, he's always open -- impressed coach Bill Belichick with his football IQ during a visit this week, per the Bills' official website. That matters in Foxborough, where wideouts are asked to play complex roles in Belichick's offense. Chad Johnson, for instance, was released by the team years ago because he couldn't pick up the playbook. But that's not all:
At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Hogan is bigger than both Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman. The trio would give quarterback Tom Brady a reliable collection of receivers to pair along with game-changing tight end Rob Gronkowski. We still expect New England to look for a downfield burner to add to the mix.