New England Patriots Trade Deadline Previewby Jack Gaffney October 18, 2021 0 comments
The New England Patriots after six weeks of play are equally one of the most confusing and frustrating teams in the NFL. They feel better than their current 2-4 predicament, but they continue to make key mistakes that have put them where they are currently. With that said, the Patriots are only a game out of the final AFC wildcard spot, and their schedule gets a bit easier from here on out. If Bill Belichick wants to add to what is clearly a solid roster, here are some realistic options for him.
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The Patriots’ Current Status
Current Record: 2-4
Division Standings: Second in the AFC East
In the Playoff Picture: No
Buyers or Sellers: Buyers
Current NFL Draft Slot: Seventh Overall
Potential Trade #1: 2022 sixth-round pick (via Los Angeles Rams) to the Houston Texans for Desmond King
The Stephon Gilmore trade to the Carolina Panthers made headlines of course, but he also hasn’t seen a snap for New England since December of last year. Having said that, cornerback depth is a concern to this point. Special Teams ace Justin Bethel has stepped up in the absence of others, but that is not the best situation to be in week in week out. Former second-round pick Joejuan Williams was also a healthy scratch against the Dallas Cowboys as well. This is after a lackluster performance against the Houston Texans with a number of starters out. While the Patriots also traded for 2021 Ravens fifth-round draft pick Shaun Wade, he has been sidelined as of late with a concussion as well.
Another new face may be needed if the Patriots want to improve as a pass defense. Belichick won’t empty the war chest to beef up the secondary, nor should he. Bringing in a player like King could prove beneficial, however. The Belichick-Nick Caserio connection helps here, and it is not like the Houston Texans are going anywhere this year. The former First-Team All-Pro defensive back would also be looking for a new contract in the offseason. Currently on a year deal for three million dollars. Maybe joining the Patriots could reinvigorate the former Iowa Hawkeye product, who hasn’t played like his 2018 form since.
Potential Trade #2: 2022 seventh-round pick and Brandon Bolden to the Indianapolis Colts for Marlon Mack
The Patriots and Colts may not be on the best of terms, to say the least, but Mack has publically stated he wants out. While Running Back isn’t the single biggest need that New England has, James White being out for the year is an absolute killer. Additionally, Bolden has proven ineffective as a third option in a committee with Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. A true third option in the New England running attack could be big for this team’s trajectory. Mack can be that guy.
Mack would likely get ample chances to put his skills on display and set himself up for a solid payday this offseason. The Patriots can easily fit his current two million dollar salary into their cap situation as well. The big hurdle of course would be if Chris Ballard would do business with the fine folks at One Patriot Place. It is worth noting that the teams have done business after the Josh McDaniels fiasco, however.
Potential Trade #3: 2022 fourth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Andre Dillard
The tackle situation in New England has been sketchy this season. Trent Brown after being brought back from the Las Vegas Raiders has played just seven snaps the entire season. Additionally, the play of Isaiah Wynn at left tackle has been shakey, while missing time as well. 2020 late-round pick Justin Herron has done solidly as a reserve in his time in Foxborough, Yodny Cajuste is another story. After a solid outing in Houston, he was manhandled by the Cowboys’ defensive front. Cajuste was then pulled before the game reached halftime.
If the health on the outside of the line is still in flux, something should be done. Luckily, there is a team New England is friendly with in the trade department could help. Being none other than Howie Roseman and the Eagles. Dillard, a former first-round pick by the Eagles, lost his starting gig at left tackle to Jordan Mailata, who secured the bag earlier this year. However, with some injuries up front, he has played starting. Dillard has also had injury troubles in his career. Missing all of 2020 with a preseason bicep tear in late August. With no path to being a starter when Philidelphia’s offensive front gets back to full strength, a move may be best. If this is a move the Patriots are interested in making, it may tell all we need to know about Wynn moving forward as well. Despite his fifth-year option being exercised.
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