The trade rumors are here again! Who can the Patriots acquire?
It really doesn’t come as a surprise that the New England Patriots are linked with seemingly every dissatisfied wide receiver under the sun. After all, they have serious question marks behind No. 1 option Julian Edelman and could really prove to benefit from providing quarterback Cam Newton with another established veteran.
On top of that, the Patriots currently have the fourth-most salary cap space in the NFL at $28 million, so they could legitimately trade for any receiver on an expiring contract and subsequently hand him a lucrative extension without breaking a sweat.
Well, to the surprise of zero fans in New England (we hope that’s the case), Odell Beckham Jr. was linked to the Patriots for the third consecutive year this week following the Browns’ disastrous performance in Week 1 against Baltimore, in which he managed just 22 yards on three receptions.
During that three-year span, there have been numerous instances where it’s felt like Beckham was on the verge of being dealt to the Patriots. However, all of them flamed out without much of any reported progress being made in negotiations. For those wondering, that is precisely why we are numb to the rumors that link him to New England.
Bill Belichick has a zero tolerance policy for petulant antics and history suggests that OBJ wouldn’t be able to adopt the “Patriot Way” well, if at all. With that in mind, here are three wide receivers who the 68-year-old general manager actually has a chance of acquiring via trade.
3. Curtis Samuel
The Panthers were reportedly shopping WR Curtis Samuel this past offseason.
During the 2020 NFL Draft, insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Carolina Panthers were receiving consistent calls on the availability of wideout Curtis Samuel, and we see no reason as to why that will change ahead of this season’s trade deadline.
The Panther signed Robby Anderson to a two-year, $20 million contract back in April, and it’s clear they value him highly as he was heavily involved in Week 1, tallying six receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Those numbers led the team, whereas Samuel finished with just 38 yards on five receptions. He did log eight targets, but it doesn’t take a football savant to tell you that he could end up being the fourth option in Carolina’s passing game — behind Anderson, DJ Moore and Christian McCaffrey.
This could coerce the Panthers into shopping him at the 2020 deadline, and New England would be smart to get them on the phone. Though Samuel has yet to realize his full potential, anyone who’s watched him play can see how much talent he has. While working with an unideal quarterback situation last season, he registered 54 receptions (on 105 targets) for 627 yards and seven touchdowns, all of which were career-highs.
And he’s played with Newton before!
The Patriots are desperate for speed on the perimeter and Samuel, a former second-round pick back in 2017, would make an instant impact for them. The 24-year-old’s trade value might even drop in the coming months if he isn’t made a focal part of Carolina’s aerial attack, so his name is definitely one to watch.