FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots had 11 wide receivers on their roster before Wednesday's news that Andrew Hawkins is joining the mix. The club might shed one of its lesser experienced pass-catchers to make room for Hawkins, or simply increase the number to 12.
Either way, the addition of Hawkins sparks a question: Who will ultimately be on the outside looking in?
Time should yield a clearer picture to help answer that question, as injuries can alter the outlook in an instant.
As it stands now, Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell are viewed as "locks" to make the club. Special-teams captain Matthew Slater, while technically listed as a receiver despite playing only 53 snaps at the position in 2016, also falls into that category.
That leaves what would likely be just one spot on the initial 53-man roster for the remaining group of Danny Amendola, Hawkins, Devin Lucien, Devin Street, DeAndrew White, Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.
Many things can happen between now and that point, but if everyone is healthy, it could come down to Amendola versus Hawkins as the most likely options for that one spot.
This is obviously something that Hawkins, who has spent time with Amendola in the past, was well aware of when he agreed to join the Patriots. He knows there are no guarantees yet he's embracing the opportunity.
Such dynamics make the competition for the projected final receiver spot one of the most intriguing for the Patriots in 2017.