NFL Teams
Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer 64d

Patriots bring on WRs Corey Coleman, Bennie Fowler; add RB Kenjon Barner

NFL, New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots continue to try different options at their short-handed wide receiver position, signing Corey Coleman and Bennie Fowler, the team announced. 

The Patriots have had a revolving door at receiver in 2018, as they are biding time until Julian Edelman returns from a four-game suspension. Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett are atop the depth chart, with Cordarrelle Patterson the No. 3 option.

On Monday, the club waived second-year slot/punt returner Riley McCarron after he muffed a punt in the fourth quarter of the team's season-opening win over the Houston Texans. The team also waived receiver Chad Hansen, whom they had claimed on waivers on Sept. 2 from the New York Jets.

During training camp, the club released receivers Kenny Britt, Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Mitchell and Eric Decker, as a series of moves haven't panned out for the team at the position.

The Patriots also on Tuesday added running back Kenjon Barner. 

Barner fills the void created with Jeremy Hill landing on injured reserve and also could factor into the punt-return mix with McCarron waived. The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Barner was with the Eagles from 2015-2017, and spent this offseason and preseason with the Panthers.

Coleman entered the NFL as a 2016 first-round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns, but never reached the expectations that come with being selected with the No. 15 pick. He was traded to the Buffalo Bills on Aug. 6 for a 2020 seventh-round pick, but didn't make the 53-man roster.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane told The Athletic that Coleman "tried hard" but "where he came in to learn a new offense, he just didn't jell. ... Anybody that's been around the practice field, you see he has a skill set. But we just never were able to make it mesh on the field with him."

Bills first-year offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is a former Patriots assistant who is running a similar offense to New England's under Josh McDaniels.

Coleman's departure from Cleveland was foreshadowed on HBO's "Hard Knocks" when he was shown going into head coach Hue Jackson's office to ask why he was running with the second unit. He then told Jackson that if the team didn't want him to play, they should trade him.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Coleman totaled 56 receptions for 718 yards with five touchdowns in his two seasons with the Browns.

The 6-1, 212-pound Fowler spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Denver Broncos, rising up from an undrafted free agent on the practice squad in 2014 to a complementary cog in the team's receiving corps from 2015 to 2017.

He totaled 56 receptions for 698 yards and five touchdowns from 2015 to 2017, but was plagued by a few dropped passes that might have contributed to the Broncos' decision to part ways with him in 2018.

Fowler signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears in April, but didn't make the team's 53-man roster coming out of the preseason.

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