Wide receiver Chris Hogan will be a Patriot, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the Bills have declined their right of first refusal. That means Hogan will head to New England under the terms of the three-year, $12MM offer sheet he signed with the club.
The Bills had five days to decide whether or not to match the Patriots’ offer to Hogan, but the team didn’t even take one full day before making its decision.
Having tendered Hogan with a low-end tender worth $1.671MM, the cap-strapped Bills weren’t expected to be able to go much higher for him, and won’t receive any compensation for losing him. The offer sheet the wideout signed with the Patriots reportedly carries a $5.5MM first-year cap hit, which made it even more difficult for Buffalo to match.
In 2015, Hogan hauled in 36 catches for 450 yards and two touchdowns. The New Jersey native had a similar season in 2014 for the Bills when he caught 41 passes for 426 yards and four scores.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has done serious research on Hogan, so much so that he knows the 27-year-old could serve as a backup (left-footed!) punter should the need ever arise. While Hogan likely won’t be pressed into action as a punter, he’s capable of contributing on special teams as well as on offense.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.