Days after releasing wide receiver Bruce Ellington, the New England Patriots signed another wideout in Dontrelle Inman to a one-year deal. The signing was reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media and Mike Reiss of ESPN. According to Rapoport, Inman drew interest and offers from four teams, but the 30-year-old wide receiver opted to join the Patriots, who are seeking their seventh Super Bowl trophy.

Inman was the latest tall wide receiver that the Patriots have added since winning Super Bowl LIII. Ellington was 5-foot-9, but he is noticeably shorter than Inman, who is listed at 6-foot-3. Of the seven new wide receivers on the Patriots roster, six are listed at 6-foot-2 and above, including 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry, Demaryius Thomas, Maurice Harris, Jakobi Meyers, Xavier Ubosi and Inman.

The Patriots signed Thomas, Harris, and Inman as free agents while Jakobi Meyers and Xavier Ubosi went undrafted before they were signed by New England. The Patriots also signed undrafted free agent wide receiver Ryan Davis, who is listed at 5-foot-9.

Patriots clarify preference for tall wideouts

However, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels denied that the Patriots have a preference for tall wideouts. “We have guys that can go up and get the ball a little bit. Then we have other guys, their strength is more quickness inside. There’s no real prototype for us,” said McDaniels. New wide receivers coach Joe Judge said the Patriots are looking for smart, tough, dependable players, regardless of their height.

“If you fit that category, 5-9 or 6-3 isn’t the biggest factor,” said Judge.

Aside from the seven new wideouts in the Patriots’ 90-man roster, the team already has Julian Edelman, Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, Damoun Patterson, and special teamer Matthew Slater. Expect a fierce competition because Edelman, Harry and Slater are the only wideouts assured of spots in the 53-man roster.

Inman emerged as weapon for Colts

Last season, Inman played for the Indianapolis Colts, who signed him in mid-October as another target for quarterback Andrew Luck. Inman did not disappoint as he caught 36 passes for 412 yards and four touchdowns in 11 regular season and playoff games. In the postseason, Inman was impressive as he caught all eight passes thrown his way for 108 yards and one touchdown.

Inman also played for the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Chargers. In 2016, he suited up for 16 games with the Chargers, recording 58 catches for 810 yards and four touchdowns.

Coaching staff underwent changes

The Patriots’ coaching staff underwent some changes after the departure of some key members. As of now, the Patriots coaches are Jerod Mayo (inside linebackers), DeMarcus Covington (outside linebackers and “the front seven”), Mike Pellegrino (defensive backs), Steve Belichick (safeties), Bret Bielema (defensive line), Judge (special teams and wide receivers), McDaniels (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Ivan Fears (running backs), Dante Scarnecchia (offensive line) and Nick Caley (tight ends).

Head coach Bill Belichick is expected to take over the defensive coordinator position after the departure of Brian Flores, who signed with the Miami Dolphins.

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