What is realistic and unrealistic when it comes to Patriots with upcoming NFL trade deadline


In case you haven’t heard, the NFL trade deadline is next Tuesday. And when it comes to the Patriots, a lot of different things could happen.

Sitting at 2-4, the team could very well be sellers and look to trade some impact players to get some draft picks in return, or they could look to add players not only for the rest of this year, but also for the years to come.

After all, Bill Belichick has always noted team-building is year-round and not reserved for just March and April.

So, what is realistic and well… not realistic.

Adding a wide receiver has been a topic since the first few weeks of the season with every receiver potentially available being linked to the Patriots, including superstars that have no shot.

That starts with Julio Jones, who is not being traded by the Falcons, since they would have to absorb $23.25 million by trading him and the organization has come out and denied it. The same goes for Adam Thielen, who will have his four-year, $64 million extension kick in next year.

Bottom line, do not expect a superstar wide receiver to be coming to New England over the next week.

What is more realistic, if a wide receiver is acquired, is solid No. 2 or 3 receiver, who is under contract beyond 2020. Unlike some past years where the team was another playmaker away from being a Super Bowl contender, they are multiple pieces away. Therefore, it’s best to get better for both this year and the future.

Some players who fit that bill are Golden Tate (Giants), DJ Chark (Jaguars) and Michael Gallup (Cowboys). Not exactly a great group, so players on a expiring contracts shouldn’t be ruled out as the team could always re-sign them in the offseason. Players who fit that criteria are John Ross (Bengals), Will Fuller (Texans) and Marvin Jones (Lions).

The same things can be said for tight end, which is still a major issue with Ryan Izzo and two rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene. In the six games, the position has eight receptions for 98 yards.

Two names to watch there are David Njoku (Browns, signed through 2021) and Evan Engram (Giants, signed through 2021).

So when it comes to potential additions offensively, if a deal is struck, do not expect a superstar to be coming to New England, rather just a more dependable role player than what the team already has.

Defensively, the team could always add a linebacker or a defensive lineman, but it feels like if a trade is swung it will be on the other side of the ball.

Then when it comes to players of their own, it’s likely teams will be calling on a few, undoubtably Joe Thuney and Stephon Gilmore, and then potentially Julian Edelman and JC Jackson.

Given their current situation, the Patriots likely will listen on all calls when it comes to their players. If the Patriots can get a early-round pick for any of them, they likely would pull the trigger.

Gilmore reportedly was shopped this offseason and it seems like the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year is a bit frustrated, even with his raise before the start of the season. He is a free agent after 2021 and his cap hit next year is over $17 million. Thuney is playing on the franchise tag and the team seems unlikely to give him a long-term deal this offseason, as if it were the case they would have just done it this past offseason.

How much worse would the Patriots be without either of these players? Cornerback is the deepest on the roster and then the offensive line has showed its capable of performing well even with some shakeups this season.

Edelman and Jackson seem less likely, but can never be ruled out.

And it’s worth noting, even if the Patriots do trade away a player, it doesn’t mean they are giving up on the season. Are the Patriots making the Super Bowl as they are now? No. Could they still make the playoffs even with parting ways with one of their better players? Absolutely.

No matter what happens over the next week, it shouldn't drastically change the 2020 outlook.

As easy as it is to get excited about the trade deadline, it usually is never lives up to its hype. And while it may not be what many want to hear, it seems like it will be the case once again.

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