For whatever reason, the New England Patriots didn't sell at the 2023 NFL trade deadline, and this should be viewed as a massive mistake. Why didn't this team sell? What are they doing over there? I get if you're a fan and you're holding out hope that they can turn this thing around, but man, this team is bad.
The Patriots seemed to have had a plethora of players that could have been traded at the deadline. Draft picks are one of the most valuable things in the entire NFL, and teams who need to rebuild would be wise to acquire as many as reasonably possible. The Patriots have a bad offense that cannot move the ball and a bad defense without Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez in the lineup.
This team is going nowhere, fast, and at some of the most important positions on the roster, the Patriots are below-average. They don't have a franchise QB. They don't have a true WR1. Their left tackle situation is a bit unstable at times.
They don't have a good head coach anymore. Their pass-rushing situation could get very thin, fast, and the secondary doesn't have enough young talent. Currently, the Patriots are picking 5th overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, which may be high enough for a blue-chip prospect including guys like QB Drake Maye, LT Olu Fashanu, and WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
The Patriots need to acquire a cornerstone player like that in next year's draft, and they may need to trade up to get someone like that. It's not always benefitting the team to continuously trade down in the NFL Draft, which is something that Bill Belichick loves to do. To jumpstart the rebuild and to give themselves a great chance at acquiring those cornerstone players, the Pats should have sold at the deadline to acquire more draft capital.
I mean, come on, what are Mike Gesicki and Ezekiel Elliott doing on this team past 2023? Both are going to be free agents and are approaching 30 years old. Even getting late-round picks for these players is better than letting them walk next year. Players who could be worth more in a trade like Josh Uche and Kyle Dugger could have fetched picks within the first three rounds.
To me, teams that are clearly not going to win much and are missing talent on their roster should have been active in selling at the trade deadline. The Washington Commanders did this, trading both Chase Young and Montez Sweat. They got a second and third-round pick back in those trades. Getting that draft capital is only going to help them rebuild their roster.
The Patriots not doing this was a huge mistake.