The Patriots had a prime opportunity to sell, but they blew it.
Stephon Gilmore. Joe Thuney. Rex Burkhead. Lawrence Guy. All of those players carried some nice value heading into the trade deadline on Tuesday, but 4 p.m. came and went, and the New England Patriots made one move. ONE. And it’s not going to do anything to help them in 2020 or in the future.
They agreed to a bizarre intra-division trade with the Miami Dolphins and shipped a seventh-round pick in 2022 to South Beach in exchange for wide receiver Isaiah Ford. That’ll surely get Cam Newton the weapons he needs in the passing game!
Ford entered the league as a seventh-round pick back in 2017, made his debut in 2018, and has hauled in just 41 catches for 428 yards in 16 career games. Why are you trading anything for that?
Many thought that since the Patriots fell to 2-5 after a heartbreaking loss to the Buffalo Bills on the game’s final drive this past Sunday that Bill Belichick would sell some of his better players that are still owed a lot of money or will become free agents after this season. Those were all the guys we mentioned above.
Instead, the excessive asking price for Gilmore leaked (a first-round pick and a player) and the Patriots didn’t capitalize on anybody’s value, nor did they upgrade anywhere.
This team’s receiving corps is the worst in the league. They still don’t have a viable starting tight end. The defense is getting gashed up the middle for the better part of the last month. The only redeeming aspect of this roster is the backfield and the secondary, but those can only get you so far.
So what’s the plan, Bill? We know you want to keep your cap space plentiful for the offseason, and fans are no doubt loving that, but why did the team opt not to add some more draft picks for 2021? Based on the team’s track record in the draft since 2014, additional selections could’ve gone a long way.
And when you look at next year’s free agency class, there really aren’t a lot of big names out there that will help the Patriots. Most of the options are aging veterans or those who will be the subject of franchise tags and/or contract extensions from their current team. That’s the biggest problem with the lack of action at the deadline for New England.
If we were about to see a star-studded free agent class in which the Patriots could wisely use their $70+ million in cap space, then we wouldn’t have any issue. But since the options will be scarce and the team still has no answer at a number of positions in addition to a lack of depth even if we were to bring back the eight players who opted out of 2020, we can truly say for the first time in a while that we don’t know if the Patriots have a viable plan to fix all of this.