Patriots Sign Wide Receiver Corey Coleman, A Former First-Round Draft Pick
In need of depth at the wide receiver position, the Patriots on Tuesday signed Corey Coleman, a former first-round draft pick who was cut by the Bills as the team trimmed its roster to 53 players, according to reports.
The Browns, who selected Coleman with the 15th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, traded the 24-year-old Baylor product to Buffalo for a seventh-round draft pick in early August.
During his first two seasons as an NFL wide receiver, Coleman showed flashes of his playmaking potential but was limited to just 19 games due to injuries.
During his rookie season, Coleman caught five passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2 against the Ravens. Three days later, Coleman broke his hand during practice and was ruled out for 4–6 weeks.
The 5-11, 185-pound Coleman broke his hand again in Week 2 of the 2017 season. He had surgery on the hand the next day and was ruled out for 6–8 weeks.
Coleman had 56 catches for 718 yards and five touchdowns in two seasons with Cleveland.
The Patriots had just three wide receivers on its roster after releasing Riley McCarron and Chad Hansen on Monday.
McCarron was cut after muffing a punt in Sunday's season-opener against the Texans, a turnover that led to a touchdown and cut the Patriots’ lead to 27-20.
Coleman hasn’t returned punts or kicks in the NFL, but he did return 25 kicks and three punts during his college career at Baylor.
The Patriots also signed wide receiver Bennie Fowler on Tuesday.
Undrafted out of Michigan State in 2014, Fowler spent his rookie season on the Broncos' practice squad. He spent the next three seasons on the team's active roster, catching a combined 56 passes for 698 yards.
Fowler signed a one-year deal with the Bears in April but was released in early September.
Fowler has returned just one punt during his NFL career.