Patriots have more than enough reason to trade for CeeDee Lamb

Did you see his 2023 season?
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The 4th-century Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu is believed to have proclaimed that “A leader is best when people barely know he exists.” According to ancient Chinese texts, Lao Tzu went on to become an “immortal hermit,” so record keeping might have been a little sketchy back then. 

But if Tzu was correct, then the Krafts are not the best leaders. All the chatter about why the team didn’t burn that cash, allied to their reluctance to name a GM, not only distracts from the team and fundamentally undermines Jerod’s position, but it also begs the question of who is actually running the team. 

No coach can succeed without the backing of team ownership and a harmonious relationship with their GM. According to Eliot Wolf, Mayo and he are on the same page (although he did add the caveat that they’re still in their honeymoon phase). The Patriots just need to get ownership on that page, too. 

There are two gaping holes in the Patriots roster, with no apparent number-one receiver or a left tackle. The chance to sign a left tackle seems to have passed them by. David Bakhtiari seems set to sign with the Bears, and none of the remaining free agents are worth spending money on. 

Maybe there’s a chance to acquire a star wide receiver? Michael Thomas is still a free agent, but he is 31 now and will be an expensive 31-year-old. 

The Patriots' best bet is to trade for an inarguable WR1 before the season begins

There are a few number-one receivers who are unhappy where they currently play and understandably want a pay rise. 

Tee Higgins is unhappy because the Bengals franchise tagged him when he’d rather have a longer contract. Amari Cooper is currently holding out in Cleveland, and Brandon Aiyuk appears to be agitating for a move away from San Francisco, too. 

But there’s only unhappy receiver who hauled in 135 receptions in 2024, CeeDee Lamb. And the Cowboys only have $12 million to spend before they hit the salary cap. That’s roughly $32 million less than the Patriots have to play with! 

It’s hard to argue that a team without a number-one receiver should trade for the best number-one receiver in the league. The Patriots have a disgruntled player of their own, Matt Judon, whom they could send to Dallas.

They could even send Demario Douglas, too as he doesn’t seem to fit the Patriots' offense and you know Mike McCarthy would love a new Randall Cobb-style receiver in a Cowboys jersey. 

Trading for Lamb instead of Cooper or Aiyuk makes sense because he’s younger than both of them. While Higgins is the youngest of the lot, he only caught 42 passes in 2023. 

Lamb loves to run block too, and while he’s not as physically imposing as the 6-foot-4 Higgins, he is 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds! JuJu Smith-Schuster would be the only Patriots receiver who could match Lamb’s physicality, and nobody knows if his lingering knee injury will continue to be a problem. 

New England is a very tempting landing spot for any legit number-one, too. Nobody on the current roster is going to eat into their target share. Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker may blossom into star receivers, but neither is poised for a Puka Nacua-type rookie season. And Kendrick Bourne has never caught more than 62 passes in a single season. 

Having a receiver with Lamb's talent and experience in the receiving room would also make Tyler Hughes’ and Tiquan Underwood’s jobs easier. Lamb has made two more Pro Bowl appearances than the entire Patriots receiving room! He'd be perfect to lead a group that includes not just Polk and Baker but potentially also Kayshon Boutte, Tyquan Thornton, and David Wallis.

There’s no downside for the Patriots. If they do trade Judon for Lamb, they would be losing someone who will be 32 when the season starts and who expects a new contract while acquiring the focal point of their offense for the next five or six years. 

With two quarterbacks under 25 years of age and three rookie wide receivers desperate to learn and prove their worth in the league, the Patriots could secure their future with a straightforward move. 

They would have to sign Lamb to an improved contract, though, and that’s where ownership comes in. Despite being recently valued at $11.1 billion, the Krafts face constant questions about their tight grip on the purse strings, not just for the Patriots but also for the NE Revolution. It’s as if they enjoy the attention, wherever he is, that immortal hermit Lao Tzu does not approve of. 

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