Griff Whalen‘s career has ventured to the journeyman stage in 2016, but it will now take him to one of the league’s highest-profile locales.
The Patriots plan to sign the fifth-year wide receiver, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). New England is down Danny Amendola due to a high-ankle sprain, and the organization believes Whalen could fill the veteran’s role until the playoffs, per Rapoport.
It’s a one-year deal for Whalen, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets.
Amendola’s role has varied in importance with the Patriots, but he’s played in all 12 games this season and has 23 receptions for 243 yards and four touchdowns in this his fourth year with the team. He suffered the ankle injury against the Rams on Sunday.
This will be Whalen’s third team in the past three months. He worked out for the Jets last week. Initially cut by the Dolphins after spending the offseason and preseason in Miami, Whalen moved to San Diego and played in eight games a Chargers backup for a team that’s again reeling at wide receiver. The Chargers cut him two weeks ago after claiming Ronnie Hillman off waivers.
New England has Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell shouldering the receiving reps, so Whalen figures to contribute mostly on special teams. For his career, the 26-year-old target has 47 receptions for 509 yards and three scores — all but two of those catches coming in four seasons with the Colts. His previous attachment to the Patriots came last season when in a Colts-Pats Sunday-night tilt he was the designated snapper on the strangest fake-punt attempt in memory.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.