New England Patriots: Reality check for hapless Pats, here's what to do

The last-place Patriots need to reevaluate and make moves now.

New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The New England Patriots have hit rock bottom, last place in the AFC East, two full games behind the New York Jets. Think about that one. The glory days with Tom Brady who was unceremoniously kicked to the curb by owner Robert Kraft and Head Coach Bill Belichick are well in the rearview mirror. There are things to be done and soon, like now. Here's what the team should be doing to right the capsized ship. Lots of players should be traded.

The Mac Jones experiment has failed, first-round pick or not. Mac is not the answer and any thoughts of guaranteeing a fifth year should be dismissed out-of-hand if they are actually in any serious consideration. Mac should be traded before the deadline on Tuesday if a reasonable offer is on the table.

Malik Cunningham should be given the reins of the offense for a while to see if he can be an NFL quarterback. If not, it determines your draft outlook for the 2024 NFL draft. It's the logical thing to do. The 2023 season is over and there's nothing whatsoever to lose.

The New England Patriots need to deconstruct the offense

The Patriots offense is not good. It all starts with the quarterback and as noted he has not measured up. In addition, the Patriots should trade several offensive players to aggregate draft picks for next April. There are lots of players who can go. Let's explore.

Neither starting tight end, Hunter Henry nor Mike Gesicki have performed up to expectations. They both can be traded to contending teams. There's not much to lose since free agent Pharaoh Brown has actually outperformed both. Trade them.

On the offensive line, unsigned Trent Brown might secure a decent pick. He should be traded along with free agent flop Riley Reiff if anyone will bite. Trade flops Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and Vedarian Lowe should also go, but the likelihood of anything other than a seventh-round pick in 2030 or so is unlikely. But take them if they are offered.

Wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster, Devante Parker, and Kendrick Bourne (who's injured) can all be traded. If Bourne is healthy, a fourth or fifth-round pick is possible. Even a lower-round pick for the others is questionable. In addition, trade Ezekiel Elliot while his value is higher. Maybe a fifth or sixth-rounder can be had.

The New England Patriots defense needs a total overhaul

The vaunted New England Patriots defense isn't so vaunted anymore. Massive changes are necessary. Start with the defensive line. Three starters can go. They are Dietrich Wise Jr., Davon Godchaux, and Lawrence Guy. Trade them to a team that might surrender a lower-round pick. Wise might get a fifth but ...

Then trade edge Josh Uche who may be in demand and try to trade linebackers Anfernee Jennings, a flop third-round pick in 2020, and Mack Wilson Sr. In addition, several defensive backs can be traded. These include Jalen Mills, Jonathan Jones, Adrian Phillips, Shaun Wade, and Cody Davis. A key decision has to be made on Kyle Dugger. He's a player but if he's not going to be signed to an extension, trade him. He'll fetch a solid pick.

Those are some names that should be moved if there are any takers for whatever compensation you can get in draft picks for any of them. The old Patriots are history. The dynasty is long gone, gone since the truly abominable decision by Kraft and Belichick to allow Brady to leave. Trading any or all of these players won't impact the future much. Just do what has to be done. It's time for a new beginning.