FOXBORO -- There are seven wide receivers on the Patiots roster who have A) had success in the NFL and B) are almost exclusively wideouts (no or minimal special teams or defensive relevance).
Between Deion Branch, Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Gonzalez, Brandon Lloyd, Chad Ochocinco, Donte Stallworth, Wes Welker there are 239 regular season touchdowns and 3,091 receptions.
Some good guys are going to have to go. And before they do, it will be up to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and the rest of the coaching staff to give a full - and likely difficult - evaluation of the group.
"I don't think you want to assume too many things," said McDaniels in his first meeting with the media since returning to the Patriots last January. "Let 'em go back out there and demonstrate what they know, what they can do, what they can provide our team and then let the competition play out."
McDaniels was speaking on the first day of rookie minicamp but - aside from seventh-rounder Jeremy Ebert - there wasn't a single offensive rookie drafted. The talent is already in the building.
"I think its gonna be exciting because not only do we have a lot of people who have been successful and provided some results individually but a lot of them have some real background and knowledge of our system too which is a little bit of a unique situation," McDaniels explained. "But I think that makes for great competition and I know every year we talk about having great competition at every spot and the receiver position is certainly gonna be filled with that."