The New England Patriots have once again decided to go about their offseason plans in a very judicious manner. Rather than signing a big free agent to help Mac Jones or going all-in for a star like Tyreek Hill, the Patriots are bargain shopping once again. In that same vein, one player that makes a ton of sense for this team is Darius Slayton.
The Auburn product, who spent last year under new Pats offensive assistant Joe Judge with the New York Giants, might find it hard to sign a long-term deal with a Giants team that is both rebuilding and up against the limits of the salary cap. With a new GM in town, New York could be ready to make some more trades.
Bill Belichick very rarely goes for the earth-shattering trade, but he’s not above flipping a couple of very late draft picks to another team in exchange for taking a gamble on a quality athletic prospect. Slayton’s speed down the field helped him become a viable deep threat despite limited production from Daniel Jones.
Slayton seems like the type of player who could benefit from a change of scenery, and New England could put him in an environment more conducive to winning than what he was used to in New York. Should Belichick go forward with the idea of trading for Slayton?
Will the Patriots trade for Darius Slayton?
Slayton recorded just under 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns during his first two seasons in the league. 2021 can be considered basically a wash, too. With Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm throwing five touchdowns and 13 interceptions, it’s hard for a wide receiver to get much production out of that.
The idea of trading for Slayton hinges on what exactly Belichick and the front office think of Nelson Agholor. If they do not feel comfortable with him as their primary field stretcher, ditching Agholor for Slayton might be the most prudent option. Slayton’s explosion and playmaking are no joke.
Using the 21st overall pick on defense and trading for a player on a rookie contract will keep this team financially flexible.
Slayton has had some issues with dropping passes throughout his collegiate and pro career, and Belichick’s known distaste for that bugaboo could make it a bit tougher for the Pats to pull a deal off. But if the speed ends up enticing Belichick, and if Joe Schoen is serious about tearing the Giants down, Slayton may still be moved.
New England has been notoriously inept at evaluating wide receivers in the draft. Rather than spend another first-rounder on N’Keal Harry Part 2, why not get a talented youngster like Slayton who has been misused in an ineffective offense at minimal cost to the team’s financial future?