Free agency has come and gone and the Patriots still haven't addressed the tight end position, which they got the worst production from in the entire league last year.
With a below average class coming out in the draft, the need has to be addressed in some other form, which could very well be a trade.
According to Mike Lombardi on the "GM Shuffle" podcast, Tampa Bay is looking to deal O.J. Howard.
“I [got] a phone call -- from somebody in the league who said, ‘Look, I don’t think Howard’s going to be on the (Buccaneers this season). They’re trying to trade him,'" he said. “They wanted a second-round pick for him at the trading deadline (that) no one would give them. Howard’s got a great name, but I think there’s an instinctive issue going on. I think he’s going to be available. It would not surprise me if he was traded on draft day or the day before.”
The Patriots reportedly were one of the teams interested at the trade deadline last season, but the price was too high. Perhaps if the price is lowered, a deal could be worked out. The Patriots have 12 overall selections in next week's draft.
Howard, who was drafted in the first round of the 2017 draft, hasn't lived up to expectations. Last year in 14 games he had 34 receptions for 459 yards and one touchdown.
Tampa Bay has another tight end in Cameron Brate, who put up better numbers, so Howard is disposable. Although, Tom Brady does like to throw to his tight ends more than the average quarterback.
We shall see what happens over the next week or so.