New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker with the ball after making a catch at 2023 minicamp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

DeAndre Hopkins is in New England to visit with the Patriots, and DeVante Parker probably isn’t too thrilled about it.

Parker had a strong showing in the Patriots’ second (and final) minicamp practice on Tuesday in Foxboro, and as of Thursday, is projected as a starting “X” outside receiver. But that could change quickly, if the Pats do end up signing Hopkins as a free agent.

So, when asked after practice about the possibility of Hopkins becoming his teammate, Parker got salty and short with reporters. And understandably so.

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  • “I’m just focused on us right now,” Parker said to the first question from Doug Kyed of AtoZ Sports. “Great player, but I’m just focused on us.”

    Asked by NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry if the Pats’ current receiver group “could use some help,” Parker started to really shut it down. “Just focused on us, man. Next question,” he said.

    Parker is typically short with his answers regardless and doesn’t seem like a fan of doing media stuff in general, which is totally fine. But with this line of questioning he seemed to get actually annoyed, and you can understand why.

  • Parker ostensibly views Hopkins as a threat to his job as a clear-cut starter on the outside. If Hopkins actually did sign with the Pats, he’d immediately take the No. 1 spot on the depth chart and would logically take Parker’s spot on the field and in the system.

    Such a move could possibly make Parker expendable. But the Patriots could also use depth at the position, considering their injury situation. JuJu Smith-Schuster has yet to practice in front of reporters as he recovers from an unclear injury situation. Tyquan Thornton, meanwhile, is dealing with a soft tissue injury that made him limited in minicamp, as reported by Mike Reiss at

    With that in mind – and the fact that the aforementioned Smith-Schuster and Thornton have been injury-prone in general, and you can even add Parker himself to that list – perhaps the Patriots would end up carrying all of them on the roster. Kendrick Bourne, too.

  • Hopkins remains a high-end talent at age 31. He had a 17-game pace of 121 catches, 1,354 yards, and six touchdowns last season for the Cardinals. He doesn’t seem like he’d be a long-term answer for the Patriots, or anyone.

    But for 2023, he’d instantly make the Patriots’ receiver corps one of the better, deeper groups in the NFL. That’s the kind of impact he’d make. Unfortunately for Parker, it would come at his expense.

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    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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