1 move Patriots can make to cement home-run offseason after Kyle Dugger deal

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

After receiving the transition tag and being very forthright that he was not happy about it, safety Kyle Dugger has signed a new four-year, $58 million contract with the New England Patriots. The 2020 second-round pick will be staying in New England for the foreseeable future on a deal that puts him among the highest-paid safeties in the league.

With a $14.5 million average annual value, Dugger has the sixth-highest safety contract in the entire NFL. Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Antoine Winfield Jr, Xavier McKinney and Jessie Bates are the only safeties who are making more.

This is a big move for a Patriots team that has been relatively quiet this offseason. While the offseason has not been filled with headlines like the month of January was with the head-coaching change, the Pats are still putting together a decent spring that could result in a quick turnaround.

New England is one (albeit big) move away from being able to say that this has been a home-run offseason. If the Patriots can pull this one move off then fans may look back at this spring as a true turning point for the franchise.

Patriots trading for Tee Higgins would cement home-run offseason

Tee Higgins has been on the trade block for weeks now and the Patriots have always felt like the most likely destination for him. It does not appear that the Cincinnati Bengals are going to pay Higgins on a new multi-year deal and the Patriots have the cap space to make it happen.

Even after the Dugger deal the Patriots have plenty of cap space to trade for Higgins, sign him to a new contract and have enough room for the incoming 2024 draft class. In fact, the Pats have so much cap space and nothing prominent to spend it on, so trading for Higgins really seems like the only path to take.

After the Stefon Diggs trade the Patriots have a reasonable price tag for a potential Higgins deal. Diggs has a higher ceiling, but he is an older receiver and is at a different point in his career than Higgins. The price for Higgins should be slightly cheaper than Diggs, which is definitely a doable trade for New England.

This won't suddenly make the Patriots a Super Bowl contender next season as this is going to be a multi-year process. But with a strong defense and a new franchise quarterback under center via the 2024 NFL Draft, the Patriots will have all the pieces in place to open a new contending window in the not-so-distant future.

Plus, even if it does not result in a true contender this year, the Pats cannot afford to do the same thing to their new franchise quarterback that the team did to Mac Jones. This offense desperately needs more weapons, and trading for Higgins is the best way to check that box.