According to NFL Network the Patriots are expected to sign Bills restricted free agent wide receiver Chris Hogan to an offer sheet. If the report is true, a Buffalo team that's pretty tight up against the salary cap would have five days to match the offer or lose Hogan to its division rival.
EDIT: NFL Network is now reporting the Bills waived their right of first refusal and Hogan is now a Patriot.
Hogan is a 6-1, 220-pounder out of Monmouth who's played in all 16 games in each of the last three seasons in Buffalo. He has 87 career catches for 959 yards with six scores. He had a career-best 450 yards last season when he started a career-high four games. His best season in terms of receptions (41) and touchdowns (4) came in two starts in 2014.
Hogan had six catches for 95 yards in a loss in New England last fall. He had five catches for 72 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Patriots in Buffalo in 2014.
The former undrafted free agent (who's spent time with the 49ers, Dolphins and Giants) has an interesting athletic history in that he entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie after just one season of football at Monmouth. Previous to that, Hogan graduated from Penn State, where he'd played lacrosse.
Clearly he's an ascending, versatile athlete. In fact, Hogan was apparently the backup punter for the Bills.
Hogan's addition to the Patriots could put the future of returning veteran Danny Amendola in question. Amendola currently has a salary cap number of just under $7 million for 2016, the sixth highest on the team.
Paying Hogan the reported $12 million over three seasons, with a reported $5.5 million first-year cap number, would also be more money than the team had committed to Brandon LaFell before letting the veteran go this spring.
Obviously New England sees something it likes in Hogan and is willing to pay for him.