Patriots leaving everyone in play ahead of trade deadline, according to latest rumors

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 13: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 13: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

NFL insider Albert Breer claims that the Patriots are leaving everyone in play ahead of the Nov. 3 trade deadline.

Even the most optimistic of Patriots fans can admit that New England’s season hangs in the balance this weekend when they travel to Buffalo to take on the AFC East-leading Bills, who, despite their 5-2 record, have been playing really sloppy football over the last three weeks.

During that span, Buffalo has suffered two humbling defeats at the hands of the Chiefs and Titans and narrowly avoided a colossal upset vs the Jets in Week 7. While that would normally instill confidence into the hearts of fans, the Patriots are arguably in the midst of their worst stretch of the Bill Belichick era.

A loss to the Bills on Sunday would send the Patriots to 2-5 and put them on the distant periphery of the playoff picture with one of the worst records in the conference. It’s scary to think about, but such a result might convince the winning-obsessed Belichick to punt the season and engage in a fire sale ahead of the Nov. 3 trade deadline.

Well, according to insider Albert Breer, the Patriots are listening to offers on seemingly every player on the roster. That might be a little hyperbolic on his part, but he was adamant in stating that cornerback Stephon Gilmore could be shopped for the third time since the 2020 NFL Draft.

"“The Patriots have been quiet thus far, but I’m told they’ve said to other teams they’d listen on almost anyone,” wrote Breer. “The team did discuss Stephon Gilmore with other teams before the draft, and then again in training camp, before moving $4.5 million in his contract from 2021 to ’20. Other teams took that restructure as a sure sign that this will be Gilmore’s last year in New England. So if they lose Sunday in Buffalo, it’d be interesting to see if they’d move the timetable on his departure up.”"

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport came out this week to refute the notion that the Patriots are willing to unload Gilmore, who is questionable for Sunday after tweaking his knee during practice on Thursday, but that could all change if the team puts forth another forgettable performance in a losing effort vs Buffalo.

The other name that comes to mind in terms of expendable (and intriguing) assets is offensive lineman Joe Thuney, a player whom the Patriots have never really showed incentive to sign to a long-term extension. That notion, much to the dismay of fans, was proven to be true back in March when they hit him with a $14.78 million franchise tag.

Barring something truly unforeseen, Thuney will play out the remainder of his deal and test the open market, where he’ll likely land a lucrative contract, once the season is over. Given the likelihood of that happening, it would no doubt behoove the Patriots to cash in on him while they still can.

Nothing with Belichick is ever set in stone, so fans in New England should keep tabs around the clock for updates on his supposed approach to Tuesday’s deadline. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether he will buy, sell or keep his roster as presently constituted, but we’ll likely have a good idea by Sunday evening.