In an effort to bolster a wide receiving corps that is in turmoil with the Deion Branch situation, as well as the slow start by rookie Chad Jackosn, the Patriots acquired wide receiver Doug Gabriel from the Oakland Raiders on Saturday. The Patriots have confirmed the deal, which was first reported in the Oakland Tribune but the initial report did not indicate what the Patriots gave up in the trade. However, it is believed New England sent a fifth-round pick to Oakland in return.
Gabriel appeared poised to take advantage of Jerry Porter's contentious relationship with the team and was slotted into the starting lineup alongside Randy Moss before the trade. Gabriel is in his fourth season out of Central Florida and had 37 catches for 554 yards and three touchdowns last year, almost identical numbers to the ones the 6-2, 215-pound wideout posted in 2004 (33-551-2). He also has some kick return experience, averaging 21.8 yards on 86 career returns.