Ex-Patriots Wide Receiver Breaks Silence on Retirement Decision

Less than a year after signing a $33 million contract extension, former New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker has one reason for his early retirement.

“I want to see my kids, spend quality time with them,” Parker said via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on May 20. “I want to be there for them whenever I can.”

Parker, 31, hasn’t made any future plans, Schefter wrote on X, formerly Twitter. The nine-year veteran had 369 receptions, 5,266 yards, and 27 touchdowns between his time with the Patriots and Miami Dolphins.

“I’m just going to take things slowly,” Parker said.

Parker has four children at home, and he made the decision after signing a one-year, $1.21 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. New England released Parker on March 14 after a subpar season with 33 receptions for 394 yards in 13 games played.

Miami originally drafted Parker with the No. 14 pick in 2015 out of Louisville. The Dolphins traded Parker to New England in 2022, and he impressed enough to land a $33 million extension in 2023 with the team.

DeVante Parker records his 2nd TD of the day to cut the deficit to just 🖐️pic.twitter.com/H03MaFHH8e

— Patriots Nation (@PatsNationCP) January 8, 2023

“I also appreciate the Dolphins for drafting me and giving me the opportunity,” Parker told Schefter. “I always will have love for the Dolphins and their organization. And I want to thank all the teams, the Patriots and the Eagles, too. But the Dolphins were the first team, and I really want to thank them.”

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Parker also told Schefter that he will miss “the camaraderie” the most.

‘The brotherhood in the locker room on whichever team it was. Everyone always welcome me with open arms, and I appreciated them for that,” Parker said.

Patriots Rebuilding Receiver Room

No one among Patriots receivers shined in 2023 amid a 4-13 record. All pass catchers combined for 351 receptions for 3,392 yards and 16 touchdowns last year.

New England will look for improvement amid current receivers and additions such as Ja’Lynn Polk through the draft and K.J. Osborn through free agency. The Patriots also have Kendrick Bourne coming back from a knee injury, and veteran JuJu Smith-Schuster will look to bounce back from a down year.

Smith-Schuster came to New England in 2023 after the departure of Jakobi Meyers. The Patriots signed Smith-Schuster to a three-year, $25.5 million deal.

New England will also look to DeMario Douglas after a solid rookie season. Douglas led the team in receiving with 49 catches for 561 yards in 2023.

As for second-year receiver Kayshon Boutte, he remains with the team amid an illegal gambling investigation. The alleged incident occurred when Boutte attended LSU between 2022 and 2023.

JuJu Smith-Schuster Makes Admission about First Year With Patriots

Smith-Schuster said health played a significant role in his performance last season where he posted 29 catches for 260 yards and touchdown — some of the lowest numbers in his career.

“Last year [in May] I was probably at like 60%,” Smith-Shuster told reporters on May 20 via MassLive. “Right now I’m like 100%. So it’s a big difference. It’s not easy coming off a knee injury and having a long season and coming back really short. …I feel great, honestly. I feel great. I’ve never felt better. I’m just excited to finally be out here around this time and participating.”

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