2 bold trades that could make Patriots contenders in 2024

Adding just two players by trade could make all the difference
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The New England Patriots’ 2023 offense was an embarrassment. Musical chair quarterbacks, no scoring, boring, and week-to-week losing is not exactly a prescription for encouraging fan satisfaction; quite the contrary.

But this is 2024, and what will the Patriots offense be like this season? It's a great question, and here’s an answer that may surprise you. The 2024 Patriots can be a playoff contender. While many may see this as optimistic, including NFL prognosticators, this team has potential. They did some good things in the offseason and some that were not so positive.

In the latter category is not signing a WR1 who can carry a passing game in free agency. The other was not signing or drafting any left tackles. Let’s dredge up two trades to remedy
these oversights and see if we can set up the Patriots for a playoff run.

2 bold trades that could make Patriots contenders in 2024

First, trade for 49ers wider receiver, Brandon Aiyuk

Brandon Aiyuk is a top-flight, game-changing NFL receiver. Last season, he caught 75 passes for 1342 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s a guy the Pats should be after. One ongoing issue has been a contract dispute between the player and the 49ers. Perfect. That’s exactly the moment to swoop in and make a deal.

Aiyuk wants the 49ers to show him the cash. They may not want to pay him what he wants. The Patriots have money they didn't spend on any players of note in free agency and other ways to shake loose cap space, like cutting ties with less-than-productive roster players.

Signing Aiyuk will cost the team plenty in draft picks and maybe players, as well. Regardless, the Pats should put a No. One pick in 2025 and a No. 2 pick in 2026 (or maybe more) on the table, as well as players who might be expendable.

A top receiver adds a dimension to any NFL offense that can't be replicated by anyone not named, maybe Rob Gronkowski or Brock Bowers. You just go ahead and make the deal.

Next up: the Patriots need to trade for a solid left tackle

The Patriots inexplicably neglected to add even one left tackle either in free agency or the draft to a position that was devoid of any real NFL talent. It's an omission of monumental proportions in a football sense. It's the second-most important position on any NFL team (unless you have a left-handed QB). New personnel head, Eliot Wolf should have learned this. He hasn't.

The tackle target here is a 28-year-old veteran, Cam Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The
6’6”, 335-pound mammoth tackle slots right into the Patriots O-line as an immediate starter at left tackle. Robinson is in the final year of his contract, so he may be poised for a move, and the Jags may be amenable to a trade.

A rumor was cited by lastwordonsports.com linking Robinson to the Chiefs, even though they drafted a favorite here, Kingsley Suamataia from BYU. The draft pick haul they suggest isn’t too onerous. The thought is that a 2025 third-round pick and a later pick, plus a fourth or fifth in 2026, might get the deal done.

Should the Patriots sew up these two trades, a season competing for the playoffs is conceivable. Adding a WR1 opens up all kinds of options for Drake Maye. Adding a legitimate, veteran left tackle in Robinson plugs the single most glaring need on the entire team. The outlay they’ll have to put on the table for him pales in comparison to the benefits he'll provide.

Robinson gives rookie QB Maye a solid, veteran safety blanket to help keep him on his feet. No one can now. He will also enhance the run game as Robinson is a huge body to throw at any defensive lineman or linebacker. Those attributes help keep the ball in the Patriots’ hands, score points, and concomitantly keep the Patriots' defense fresh.

Adding just these two players, coupled with the Patriots' stout defense and their dynamic rookie starting quarterback, will put the Patriots back on track in the AFC East in 2024. They'll be competitive and compete on solid footing for a playoff game they actually could win. Just go for it. It's time.

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