The Patriots have traded for the New Orleans Saints WR Jalen Saunders for a conditional draft pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Saunders was drafted in the fourth-round of the 2014 draft by the New York Jets. Saunders was cut by the team on September 29th, three games into his rookie season.
Saunders spent some time on the Cardinals and Seahawks practice squad before landing with the Saints last Novemeber.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports the Pats are sending a 7th round pick to the Saints.
Jalen Saunders played his college ball for the Oklahoma Sooners after starting his career with Fresno State.
In 2013, he caught 61 receptions for 729 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also caught 5 passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama.
During two seasons with the Sooners, he returned 25 punts for 396 yards and 3 touchdowns.
In one season, Saunders has played in 9 games and returned 15 punts for 125 yards. He’s also returned 2 kickoffs for 120 yards.
I like this trade because I wanted the Patriots to draft Saunders in 2014 for his ability to return kickoffs and the fact I thought he’d make a nice explosive slot receiver. Now, I’d love to see him be the return specialist for the Patriots, giving Edelman a break in that area, so we don’t risk his health even more. I think the Pats could use a really explosive returner, and Saunders can be. We will see if he sticks with New England.