New England has reportedly added yet another piece to the offseason puzzle by reaching an agreement with former Texans free agent wide receiver Nate Washington.
The 32-year-old Washington is veteran of 11 NFL seasons with the Steelers, Titans and Texans. The 6-1, 185-pound outside receiver has started 107 of the 159 games he's played in, including all 14 games he played last season with Houston.
Washington has 458 career receptions for 6,954 and 44 touchdowns. He's hauled in at least 40 passes in each of the last eight seasons, recording 47 receptions for 658 yards and four scores last year for the Texans. His best season came in 2011 in Tennessee when which he set career highs with 74 catches for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns.
The former undrafted free agent out of Tiffin University has always shown the ability to make plays down the field in his career, averaging 15.2 yards per reception. He's averaged better than 16 yards a catch in four different seasons and notched a reception longer than 60 yards in five separate campaigns.
Playing in Houston's New England-like offense last fall under head coach Bill O'Brien should help Washington as he transitions to life with Tom Brady and the Patriots. That was certainly the case last fall with Keshawn Martin was traded from Houston to New England and was immediately able to compete for playing time and game reps despite the in-season deal, likely due to carry-over in scheme, terminology and passing game concepts.
Washington joins Chris Hogan and Martellus Bennett among the additions to Brady's passing attack this spring. He also joins a now somewhat crowded and competitive wide receiver depth chart that includes Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Martin, Hogan, Chris Harper and Matthew Slater.
Washington and Hogan could help fill the void on the outside at receiver after the Patriots released Brandon LaFell this spring after just two seasons in Foxborough.