Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Chris Hogan signed a four-year, $12 million contract with the New England Patriots yesterday.
Chris Hogan was one of three restricted free agents that the Buffalo Bills chose to extend a tender offer to this offseason. They tendered Hogan at the lowest level which gave them the right to match another teams offer but that the Bills would not receive any draft pick compensation if they did not match.
Under the terms of the tender offer, Hogan got a one-year, $1.67 million contract but he had the right to go out and seek a better deal from another team. The Bills would then have five days to match any offer he got from another team.
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Unfortunately for Buffalo, the dreaded New England Patriots were the team that decided to make an offer to Hogan. They offered him an extremely lucrative contract for $12 million over four years. At that value, Buffalo barely had enough cap space to match. If they chose to match the offer they would essentially be out of cap room.
The offer reportedly included a hefty amount of guaranteed money. The deal was intentionally structured in a manner that didn’t allow the Bills to match. The Bills did a similar thing to the Miami Dolphins last year when they made an offer to Charles Clay after the Dolphins used most of their cap space on Ndamukong Suh. Not surprisingly the Bills opted not to match the offer and Hogan is now a Patriot.
Bills fans had mixed opinions on Hogan during his time in Buffalo. Some loved him and embraced his “7-11” nickname which he got while he was on the show Hard Knocks with the Miami Dolphins. His detractors pointed to his many dropped passes and said the fans that liked him fell more in love with his moniker than his actual ability.
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Hogan is quick and is a good route runner. However, his hands could use some improvement. Some people would argue the reason for his drops have more to do with the Bills putrid quarterback play over the years rather than Hogan’s hands. Still, there were some obvious plays where he should have made catches and inexplicably didn’t come up with the ball. His numbers should improve next season nonetheless since he will be catching passes from Tom Brady.
There is no arguing about his work ethic. Hogan worked extremely hard just to get a roster spot in the NFL. He is definitely the type of player coaches love to have on their teams. It’s not surprising that Bill Belichick had an interest in him because of his team-first attitude. He was a key special teams contributor for the Bills over the years and will help the Patriots improve their unit next year.
It will be interesting to see how Hogan performs with New England. If he is able to develop some chemistry with Tom Brady and has a good season the fans who supported him in Buffalo will be saying “I told you so” to the detractors. If he puts up similar numbers to ones he had in Buffalo his detractors will be saying “I told you he wasn’t worth the money” to his supporters. Only time will tell which side is correct.