The Redskins continued their surprisingly yet refreshingly conservative new approach to free agency wih the signing of wide receiver David Patten on Thursday. Patten earned 3 Super Bowl rings with the Patriots and will immediately provide the Redskins with some needed speed.
He arrived at Redskin Park on Thursday, and left with a contract - a 5-year $13 million deal that included a $3.5 million signing bonus. Not chump change by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly not the type of blockbuster signing that Redskin fans have come to expect. With Rod Gardner on the trading block and not expected to be a part of the Redskins 2005 plans, Patten figures to vie for the number two receiver spot.
While Patten will have to beat out existing roster members Darnerian McCants, Taylor Jacobs and James Thrash to win a job, he gives the Redskins options and perhaps even a better bargaining position in both the Gardner trade talks and in the Laveranues Coles fiasco. The Redskins could still use a top dog receiver if they are going to lose Coles, but at least now they are in less of a position of need, as opposed to in a position of want.
Patten spent the last four seasons in New England and last season had a career best 18.6 yards per catch. His 800 yards on 44 receptions look odd at the side of Coles' 90 catches for just 150 more yards (950). The Redskins will be counting on David to help them spread the field in 2005.