Here are three trades the Patriots can make before the deadline to bolster their playoff push.
Fans in New England who were chomping at the bit to see how the team would respond following its demoralizing loss to Kansas City last Monday night — the Pats remained competitive for three quarters despite woeful quarterback play — unfortunately did not have that luxury this weekend.
After announcing a fourth positive COVID-19 test, the Patriots’ matchup with Denver, which was initially scheduled for Sunday, was postponed until Week 6. In the grand scheme of things, that decision can almost be viewed as a fortunate turn of events as it increased the chances of signal caller Cam Newton returning for that game.
On top of that, none of the Patriots’ other games were reshuffled as they were originally supposed to serve their bye in Week 6. Speaking of which, fans should be hoping that head coach and de facto Bill Belichick is using this unexpected layoff to closely examine the flaws of the roster.
After all, only two weeks remain until the 2020 trade deadline and the Patriots could really prove to benefit from making some additions. In terms of their biggest weaknesses, we would point to the front seven, wide receiver and tight end positions.
With that in mind, let’s highlight some trades Belichick can pull off before the cutoff. It might surprise you, but there are several players who could be made available by their respective franchises.
3. Trade for AJ Green
The Patriots passing game could really use an injection of dynamism.
As much as we commend Newton for publicly stating that the Patriots don’t need to trade for a wide receiver — Tom Brady probably would have said otherwise — it doesn’t change the fact that the team’s aerial attack desperately lacks a dynamic dimension.
N’Keal Harry is a big-bodied target who could prove to become a red zone monster, but he doesn’t flaunt a ton of speed. The same can be said for Julian Edelman, who is more shifty and slippery than he is agile. On top of that, the 34-year-old vet has also continued to struggle with drops, with his latest resulting in a backbreaking pick-six against the Chiefs in Week 4.
Further, the emergence of Damiere Byrd has been a nice story, but he simply has no business being the No. 3 wideout on a team with playoff aspirations. All of these glaring flaws at the WR position should prompt the Patriots to trade for Bengals star AJ Green, who could really use a change of scenery at this point in his career.
We obviously want to know the extent of the hamstring injury Green suffered in Week 5 before we commit to the Patriots striking a deal for him, but our guess is that it isn’t too serious. The fact of the matter is that the seven-time Pro Bowler has struggled to develop a rapport with rookie gunslinger Joe Burrow, registering 14 receptions for 119 yards (34 targets) through five games.
This could force Cincinnati to make him available via trade ahead of the deadline, and the Patriots shouldn’t think twice about getting the AFC North bottom-feeders on the phone. Playing eight seasons on the Bengals would slow any superstar down and we couldn’t think of a better place for Green to turn his career around than New England.