The New England Patriots‘ 2021 offseason will go down in history for the franchise because of the records they set in free agency.
While that spending spree was largely a success — though they handed out some bad contracts, too — it served as further proof that Bill Belichick and the front office needed more than one offseason to turn this roster into a contender.
That’s what makes these next few months so important for the Patriots. Coming off a 10-7 season and getting steamrolled by Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs, this roster needs major upgrades.
Unfortunately, the Patriots don’t have the necessary bandwidth to make said upgrades. They have just $7.32 million in cap space, so they could look to cut and trade players to free up some extra wiggle room.
Since we’ve already highlighted some cut candidates, let’s speculate on some players who could find themselves on the trading block this offseason.
3 players the Patriots can trade to save cap space
3. Henry Anderson
The Patriots surprised a lot of fans when they signed Henry Anderson two-year, $7 million contract last offseason.
Widely expected to be a rotational piece at the defensive end position, Anderson’s season lasted just four games, as he suffered a torn pectoral in the Week 4 loss to the Buccaneers. In those four contests, Anderson played a grand total of 25 snaps, including two games in which he played fewer than five snaps.
His career pass-rushing snaps are virtually non-existent, but that’s not his area of expertise. At 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, Anderson is a savant setting the edge against the run. Across 16 games (eight starts) with the Jets in 2020, he posted the third-highest run-stuff rate among players who logged at least 500 defensive snaps.
The last time we checked, there are myriad teams around the NFL who struggle with stopping the run, so he would seemingly have a market.
It’s time for the Patriots to stop signing players who do specific things well and look more into investing in all-around players. Shop Anderson to a team that could better accentuate his skillset and recoup $1.851 million in cap space.