New England sends a late-round 2015 draft pick to the Rams as compensation, according to ESPN’s Adam Shefter.
Salas was selected in the fourth round (112th overall) by St. Louis in 2011 and was mostly a factor on special teams.
A highly productive player at Hawaii, Salas came on strong with 22 receptions in his final four games before breaking his leg halfway through his rookie year. His chances for success increase in New England.
Not only is he reuniting with Josh McDaniels, who spent 2011 as St. Louis’ offensive coordinator before moving onto New England near the end of last year, but he’ll also have Tom Brady throwing him the football. In addition, after the departure of Jabar Gaffney, Jesse Holley and Deion Branch, among others at the position, he’ll have limited competition in New England.
As NFL.com Around The League Editor Gregg Rosenthal points out, the Patriots entered Saturday with only four wide receivers: Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Matthew Later and Julian Edelman.
“Slater is primarily a special teamer, so this gives New England some depth if one of their top pass catchers goes down with an injury,” Rosenthal writes. ”Salas figures to battle Edelman for snaps behind Welker.”
Last season, Salas and Austin Pettis both caught 27 passes as rookies—Salas for 264 yards; Pettis for 256 yards.
Brandon Lloyd led the Rams with 51 receptions for 683 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games. Steven Jackson collected the second-most receptions with 42 for 333 yards and a score.
Danario Alexander (no longer on the team) and Brandon Gibson both racked up 431 receiving yards—Alexander for 26 grabs and a pair of scores and Gibson on 36 catches and a touchdown.
Veterans Steve Smith and Danny Amendola, along with rookie receivers Chris Givens and Brian Quick have been added to the mix this offseason in St. Louis.
Taking into account that the Rams were willing to wait until 2015 to receive any compensation from the trade suggests that Salas likely wasn’t in the team’s long-term plans.
And the fact that the Patriots were willing to hand over anything more than a bowl of warm clam chowder for a player that was likely to be waived soon suggests that the Patriots saw Salas had potential and thought that he might get claimed by a team ahead of them in the waiver priority order.
Gregg Rosenthal adds that Salas could be a potential replacement if the Patriots’ No. 1 receiver if he wants to max out his money and doesn’t return to the team in 2013 and that this move makes things less likely for Jabar Gaffney to get a deal done with New England.
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Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He also writes for RantPolitical.com, where he reports on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyzes important issues in the liberty movement. Follow @_MichaelGartman, @RantPolitical and @GridironGrit on Twitter!