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New England Patriots
current status: Off season
#19 WR | 6'2", 210 lbs. | New England
Birth Date:November 4, 1986 (27 years old) Place of Birth:Houston, TX Hometown:Houston, TX College:Louisiana State
Drafted:Drafted by Carolina in 2010 (3/78).
Acquired:Acquired as a free agent in 2014.
Drafted:Drafted by Carolina in 2010 (3/78).
Acquired:Acquired as a free agent in 2014.
|Assets:||Very quick, and does a great job receiving in stride without losing any speed (which helps him rack up yards). Uses his long frame to maximum advantage making catches over the middle. Has a nose for the end zone. Balanced, fluid, and elusive. A solid blocker.|
|Flaws:||Doesn't have top-end deep speed. Must show more consistency in general, and prevent lapses in concentration that curtail his effectiveness. Needs more bulk on his frame for the NFL game, as well as to help his durability.|
|Career Potential:||Good possession receiver.|
Movements & Injuries
|3/15/2014||Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the New England Patriots to a three-year contract.|
|3/11/2014||Declared free agent.|
|7/20/2010||Signed by the Carolina Panthers to a four-year contract.|
|3/15/2014||Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the New England Patriots.|
|4/23/2010||Drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the 3rd round (78th Overall) in 2010.|
Brandon LaFell could play 'Hernandez role' | 06/20/2014 11:45 AM
NewsThe Boston Globe reports Brandon LaFell could be playing the Aaron Hernandez role in the Patriots' offense this season.
Brandon LaFell says head is spinning | 06/09/2014 8:34 AM
NewsNew Patriots WR Brandon LaFell admitted his head is "spinning."
ImpactFirst-year players in the Patriots' scheme annually have a lot on their plate. LaFell is no different as he competes for snaps with Aaron Dobson on the outside and Danny Amendola/Julian Edelman inside. Barring something unexpected in training camp, we're expecting LaFell to enter Week 1 as the No. 4 receiver.
Brandon LaFell got a $3M signing bonus | 03/24/2014 10:08 AM
NewsBrandon LaFell's contract with the Patriots included a $3 million signing bonus.
ImpactIt's a substantial enough sum that the Boston Herald considers LaFell a "lock" to make the final roster. He'll battle Aaron Dobson for the starting "X" job and also provide support to Julian Edelman/Danny Amendola in the slot. That leaves Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce to fight for one roster spot.
Brandon LaFell projects as X receiver with NE | 03/17/2014 8:42 AM
NewsESPN Boston expects newly acquired Brandon LaFell a possibility to start at the "X" position with the Patriots.
ImpactDespite going 6'2/210, LaFell operated out of the slot a lot in Carolina. But with Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola the clear-cut top-two at that position in New England, LaFell will focus on the perimeter. There, he'll battle Aaron Dobson (who is coming off foot surgery) and Kenbrell Thompkins. As long as Dobson is healthy, we'd expect him to beat out LaFell.
Patriots add Brandon LaFell on 3-year deal | 03/15/2014 10:46 PM
NewsPatriots signed WR Brandon LaFell to a three-year contract.
Adam Schefter on Twitter
Panthers begin negotiation with LaFell | 03/15/2014 10:45 AM
NewsThe Charlotte Observer reports the Panthers have begun negotiations with free agent WR Brandon LaFell.
ImpactAfter cutting Steve Smith and striking out on Hakeem Nicks, the Panthers are in something of a desperate situation at wide receiver. Tavarres King and Marvin McNutt are currently the top two receivers on a depth chart devoid of talent and experience, and re-signing LaFell would do little to change that reality. The handling of Steve Smith and the decision to release him looks worse and worse by the day. Unless something dramatic happens, Cam Newton has to be viewed as a risky option heading into 2014.
Jets have talked with FA WR Brandon LaFell | 03/14/2014 11:11 AM
NewsThe New York Daily News reports the Jets "have had several discussions" with free agent Brandon LaFell's camp but have yet to schedule a visit.
Manish Mehta on Twitter
ImpactIt's a testament to just how bad the free-agent receiver market is when LaFell has a hot market. LaFell has been an utter disappointment since being a 2010 third-rounder. He never took the next step in Carolina and seems to have plateaued as a No. 3 receiver. Even the Panthers, who are the most desperate team in the league for receivers, haven't made a strong effort to re-sign LaFell.
Panthers interested in bringing back LaFell | 03/13/2014 9:43 AM
NewsThe Panthers are reportedly interested in bringing back free agent WR Brandon LaFell.
Ian Rapoport on Twitter
ImpactLaFell is attracting a lot of attention for a drop-prone blocking wideout that has never topped 49 catches or 677 yards in his career. The Patriots, Broncos, Jets and now Panthers are all in the mix here. We hope Carolina doesn't want him back in the No. 2 role he played last year.
Broncos also have interest in Brandon LaFell | 03/12/2014 12:56 PM
NewsThe Broncos are reportedly showing "huge interest" in free agent WR Brandon LaFell.
Ian Rapoport on Twitter
Patriots hosting WR Brandon LaFell on visit | 03/12/2014 9:11 AM
NewsFree agent WR Brandon LaFell is visiting the Patriots Wednesday.
Adam Schefter on Twitter
ImpactTom Brady should be bubbling over with frustration. The Patriots failed to pony up the cash for Wes Welker last season and appear poised to follow the same path with Julian Edelman this year. LaFell is another backup-caliber outside receiver that wouldn't be an upgrade on the likes of Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins. LaFell's best work comes as a run blocker.
Brandon LaFell expected to reach free agency | 02/27/2014 7:09 PM
NewsThe Panthers are expected to let free agent Brandon LaFell reach the open market.
ImpactThe Charlotte Observer believes LaFell could eventually be re-signed to a "shorter, team-friendly deal." At best, the stone-handed former third rounder is going to draw interest as a No. 3 receiver.
Panthers won't pay up to retain LaFell | 01/20/2014 3:09 PM
NewsThe Charlotte Observer expects the Panthers to offer free agent Brandon LaFell a "team-friendly, one-year deal" to stay.
ImpactPanthers GM Dave Gettleman is tight on cap space following the Marty Hurney era, and LaFell obviously won't break the bank after a drop-filled, sub-650-yard contract season. Ideally, Carolina would acquire a No. 1 receiver of the future via the draft, and either let LaFell walk or retain him as a reserve.
LaFell's extension attempt was shot down | 01/14/2014 9:03 AM
NewsImpending free agent Brandon LaFell tried to work out an extension with the Panthers before the season.
ImpactLaFell and his agent were told by GM Dave Gettleman that no new contracts would be given out until after the season. And after LaFell once again flopped in a prime opportunity as the clear-cut No. 2 receiver, we wouldn't expect his market to be very warm. Fellow free agent Ted Ginn brings more value, and is likely to be a higher priority for Gettleman.
Brandon LaFell held to 34 yards in Week 19 | 01/12/2014 4:30 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught four balls for 34 yards in the Panthers' playoff loss to the 49ers Sunday.
ImpactSteve Smith was spry early despite limited practice due to a knee injury, so LaFell reverted to his No. 3 pass-option role behind 89 and Greg Olsen. A disappointing four-year player, LaFell now enters unrestricted free agency coming off an eight-drop season. His career high in receiving yards is 677, set in 2012. Receiver-needy teams would be better off targeting LaFell as a No. 3 or 4 receiver than a starter. Lacking sure hands and playmaking ability after the catch, LaFell's Dynasty value is very limited.
Brandon LaFell disappoints yet again | 12/29/2013 4:42 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell did not catch a pass in Sunday's Week 17 win at Atlanta.
ImpactIt's a new low for LaFell. The Panthers desperately needed him to step up with Steve Smith (knee) out, and the fourth-year vet responded by dropping a big third-down pass early on and failing to create separation against a weak secondary. Consistently failing to capitalize on opportunities, LaFell finishes with 49 catches for 627 yards and five touchdowns. The Panthers would do well to get Ted Ginn more involved in the playoffs.
Brandon LaFell catches only one pass in win | 12/22/2013 6:12 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught one pass for 13 yards in Carolina's Week 16 win over the Saints.
ImpactLaFell drew only two targets as the Panthers' passing offense struggled to take flight. The touchdown-dependent WR4/5 now has just 168 yards over his past five games. LaFell won't be on the daily-league radar in Week 17 against the Falcons.
LaFell picks up 61 yards on three catches | 12/15/2013 9:21 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught three passes for 61 yards in Sunday's Week 15 win over the Jets.
ImpactLaFell was more involved in the passing game this week and made an impressive 36-yard catch in traffic in the first quarter. He also made a critical block on DeAngelo Williams' 72-yard touchdown and has easily been the Panthers' best blocking receiver this season. LaFell has little upside as a WR4 in Carolina's run-heavy offense and won't be on the fantasy radar in Week 16.
LaFell takes step back in Week 14 | 12/09/2013 1:39 AM
NewsBrandon LaFell had two catches for 22 yards in Week 14 against the Saints.
ImpactLaFell was only targeted four times in a game where Cam Newton passed for just 160 yards. His upside is limited as the No. 2 receiver in a run-heavy offense and he wasn't able to find the end-zone after scoring touchdowns in two of the last three weeks. LaFell will be a WR4 against the Jets in Week 15.
Brandon LaFell held to two catches | 11/24/2013 7:10 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught two passes for 36 yards in Sunday's Week 12 win at Miami.
ImpactAlthough the Dolphins were without Dimitri Patterson, Cam Newton could only muster 174 passing yards. LaFell just wasn't a factor as he saw a mere five targets. During the Panthers' seven-game winning streak, he's averaging 4.1 catches for 54.5 yards with two touchdowns. LaFell will be a WR4 against the Bucs in Week 13, but he'll have a little more upside with Tampa getting torched by No. 2 receivers weekly.
LaFell reels in seven passes, TD in MNF win | 11/19/2013 12:45 AM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught seven passes for 59 yards and one touchdown in Monday night's Week 11 victory over the Patriots.
ImpactLaFell's seven grabs and eight targets led the team. He played his normal role as the outside receiver in two-wide sets before shifting to the slot when No. 3 receiver Ted Ginn entered. LaFell's nine-yard touchdown on third-and-goal kicked off the scoring. He beat rookies Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan on the play. It was LaFell's first end-zone visit since Week 6. He's a WR4.
Brandon LaFell gets four catches in win | 11/10/2013 8:11 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught four passes for 48 yards in Sunday's Week 10 win at San Francisco.
ImpactIt was a standard day at the office for LaFell. He had a drop over the middle, but made a couple nice grabs on the sideline. Over the last four games, LaFell is averaging 4.0 catches for 45.0 yards. He's just not good or explosive enough to expect anything more.
Brandon LaFell has six-catch afternoon in win | 11/03/2013 5:22 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught six passes for 74 yards in Carolina's Week 9 win over the Falcons.
ImpactThe six catches were a new season high for the Panthers' nominal No. 2 receiver, while the 74 yards were his second most of 2013. LaFell made a ridiculous one-handed grab on his first reception of the second half, and was narrowly overthrown on what could have been a long touchdown. With half the season in the books, LaFell is on pace for a 54/704/6 line. All three totals would be new career highs. LaFell will remain a plug-and-play WR4 for Week 10 against the 49ers. Ryan is still on pace for 4,884 yards and 30 touchdowns, but is unlikely to come anywhere close to that yardage total, which would be a new career high.
LaFell plays minor role in loss to Bucs | 10/25/2013 12:58 AM
NewsBrandon LaFell had just three catches for 23 yards in Week 8 against the Bucs.
ImpactIt's the second straight game LaFell has been limited to just three catches. He had a brutal drop in the third quarter and lost targets to Ted Ginn this week. LaFell will be nothing more than a middling WR4 in a matchup with the Falcons in Week 9.
Brandon LaFell (knee) probable for TNF | 10/23/2013 1:48 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell (knee) was a full participant in Wednesday's practice and is probable for Week 8.
ImpactLaFell was limited by a knee injury Monday, but his status was never in doubt. He's on pace for just 680 yards and 48 catches this season and will be nothing more than a WR4 against the Bucs.
LaFell (knee) limited in Monday's practice | 10/21/2013 7:38 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell (knee) was limited in Panthers practice Monday.
ImpactLaFell played his normal snap count Sunday against the Rams, so this may not be much of an issue. The Panthers and Bucs play on Thursday night. LaFell caught just three passes in Week 7 and is nothing more than a WR4.
Brandon LaFell has three-catch day vs. Rams | 10/20/2013 6:43 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught three passes for 35 yards in Carolina's Week 7 win over the Rams.
ImpactLaFell predictably fell back to earth after his 4/107/1 Week 6. He's a middling WR4 in Carolina's unpredictable passing offense.
Brandon LaFell is CAR's best blocking WR | 10/17/2013 9:16 AM
NewsBrandon LaFell is considered the Panthers' best run-blocking receiver.
Brandon LaFell scores long TD in Week 6 | 10/13/2013 4:05 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught four balls for 107 yards and a touchdown in Carolina's Week 6 win over Minnesota.
ImpactLaFell's big play came on a busted coverage down the right sideline, where he got wide open for a 79-yard score. Although the Rams' defense has struggled mightily this season, we'd avoid trying to chase LaFell's Week 6 points into the Panthers' Week 7 game. He's still on pace for under 600 receiving yards.
Brandon LaFell held to 47 yards in Week 5 | 10/06/2013 7:39 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught four balls for 47 yards in the Panthers' Week 5 loss to the Cardinals.
ImpactHe also sprinkled two drops among nine targets. LaFell was targeted more heavily than usual with Patrick Peterson on Steve Smith, but couldn't make Arizona's defense pay. Through four games, LaFell is on pace for just 44 receptions and 452 yards. Leave him on waivers as Carolina faces Minnesota in Week 6.
Brandon LaFell struggles again in Week 2 | 09/15/2013 6:36 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell had just four catches for 13 yards in Week 2 against the Bills.
ImpactLaFell has now struggled in back-to-back games after failing to record a catch in Week 1 and was targeted behind Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, and Ted Ginn on Sunday. He saw playing time as both an outside receiver and in the slot, but continues to be a non-factor in the passing game. LaFell remains off the fantasy radar for the time being.
LaFell struggles in third preseason game | 08/22/2013 10:56 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell caught just one pass for 11 yards in Carolina's third preseason game against Baltimore.
ImpactLaFell saw four targets on the night, and he had a brutal drop in the red zone on third down. Cam Newton put the ball right on LaFell, but he tried to body catch it and the pass fell hopelessly to the ground. LaFell isn't cutting it as the No. 2 receiver. Through three preseason games, he has three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown. LaFell is nothing more than a WR4.
Brandon LaFell 'still trending up' | 08/06/2013 8:35 AM
NewsCoach Ron Rivera said he believes the "arrow's still up" on Brandon LaFell.
LaFell 'locked in' as a starter | 06/13/2013 12:24 PM
NewsThe Associated Press considers Brandon LaFell "locked in" as the Panthers No. 2 receiver.
ImpactLaFell flopped in his big opportunity as a starter last year, recording a meager 44/677/4 line and falling behind Greg Olsen on the target totem ole. The Panthers brought in both Domenik Hixon and Ted Ginn in free agency, and we wouldn't rule them out from eventually pushing LaFell. He's entering the final year of his rookie contract.
LaFell triggers 2013 performance escalator | 01/31/2013 5:56 PM
NewsBrandon LaFell's 2013 base salary increased from $575,000 to $1.35 million after he hit escalators in his rookie deal.
ImpactLaFell has increased from starting two games as a rookie, to six as a sophomore, and finally 12 this past season. Working as the No. 2 receiver opposite Steve Smith, LaFell caught 44 passes for 677 yards and four touchdowns. However, he's no more than the third option in the passing game behind Smith and Greg Olsen. 2013 will be a make or break year for LaFell.
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Career Regular Season Statistics
2013 Game Highs
|Receptions||7||vs. NE||Week 11||6|
|Receiving Yards||107||at Min||Week 6||93|
|Receiving TD||2||vs. NYG||Week 3||1|
|Total Yards||116||at Min||Week 6||115|
|Total TD||2||vs. NYG||Week 3||1|
|Punt Returns||1||at SF||Week 10||0|
|Punt Returns Yards||0||16 times-last:at Atl||last:Week 17||0|
|Punt Returns TD||0||16 times-last:at Atl||last:Week 17||0|
Career Highs (SEASON)
|Rushing Yards||60||2010 (Car)|
|Average (Yds/Carries)||60.0*||2010 (Car)|
|Receiving Yards||677||2012 (Car)|
|Average (Yds/Rec)||17.0||2011 (Car)|
|Receiving TD||5||2013 (Car)|
|Total Yards||712||2012 (Car)|
|Total TD||5||2013 (Car)|