The trade deadline is approaching, and rumors are running rampant throughout the NFL. Last week, I suggested that the Patriots trade for Seattle Seahawks LB Aaron Curry, but the Oakland Raiders beat them to the punch. If you were hoping for some kind of trade, fear not, because there are players rumored to be available, and they could help this Patriots team.
Targets for trades should be on the defensive side of the ball, as that is clearly the Patriots’ weakness. Despite recent improvements, the defense still ranks dead last in total defense, which is due to a lackluster pass rush and poor coverage in the secondary. Is there help in these departments available on the trade market? According to NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt, there are two moves that could be made there that could put the Patriots over the top.
In the pass rush department, Brandt feels that the Patriots should inquire and trade for Vikings DE Jared Allen. The Vikings, he feels, are in rebuilding mode and could stand to deal Allen for a high draft pick, which the Patriots have in bulk. Jared Allen already has 8.5 sacks on the season, which is a half sack more than the Patriots have AS A TEAM. You can read a debate on the potential Allen trade HERE from Patriots Football Weekly editors Andy Hart and Paul Perillo.
Another trade proposed by Brandt is for Eagles corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He suggests sending Gary Guyton and a draft pick to Philly for Rodgers-Cromartie, and here is his reasoning:
The Eagles need a linebacker and Guyton would help shore up their poor run defense. Even at 1-4, Philly isn’t out of the playoff race. Rodgers-Cromartie is good, but time is running out and cornerback is a position of strength.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Denver Broncos are fielding trade offers for WR Brandon Lloyd. Trading for a wide receiver would be a luxury, but with Chad Ochocinco floundering and the Patriots still lacking a down-field threat, Lloyd could be an option. His contract is cheap (last year of the deal, $1.395 million this season), so he is certainly an affordable luxury that could bolster the offense. The downside here is that Lloyd would have to pick the offense midway through the season, whereas players like Jared Allen and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would have a smoother transition with the Pats now playing a 4-3 defense.
The Pats have the cap room, so why not make a trade? If the Pats are gunning for a Super Bowl, a bold move is necessary, namely on the defense. Right now, the Pats are one-dimensional, and a blockbuster trade (thinking Jared Allen here) could put them over the top.