Former Oakland Raiders WR Chaz Schilens was reportedly seen in the mini-camp of the New England Patriots on Tuesday. According to a source close to ESPNBoston.com, Schilens was spotted wearing number 84 in camp, and his presence is extremely intriguing for the receiver-starved Patriots.
In the off-season, New England lost the services of their All-Pro wide receiver Wes Welker to a bigger deal in Denver, and his replacement, former Ram Danny Amendola is notoriously brittle in the health department. That, along with nagging injuries to both of their tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, leaves a significant hole on the outside, and Schilens is exactly the type of “flier” that the Patriots should be taking.
Schilens has just 1,191 yards and 100 catches in his career, but his performances in training camp and limited action are seemingly always in the news, and if it wasn’t for the injury bug, Schilens could be a legitimate asset. He has great size (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) with quality speed, and while it is certainly a boom-or-bust move, it is one that New England could pay great dividends from.
Tim Tebow’s acquisition will clearly lead the headlines in New England for days to come, but in all honesty, Chaz Schilens is probably more likely to contribute on the field in 2013 than Tim Tebow is. Stay tuned to see if Schilens’ appearance turns into more (and an eventual roster spot) in New England.