Proposed trade has Patriots adding the perfect weapon to their offense

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Because of the long list of roster holes that need to be dealt with this offseason and their high projected cap space to spend, the Patriots continue to be involved in several proposed trades. Most of those published thus far seem more like fantasy trades than anything realistic, but a new article from Bleacher Report looks more plausible than most.

Since the receiving corps is at the top of the list of priorities in free agency and the draft, this proposed trade has New England calling up the Browns and working out a deal for wide receiver Amari Cooper. He hasn't been a name connected to the team at all, nor has he been on Patriots fans' radar.

However, Cleveland is in a significant cap deficit that they will need to climb out of. Before the start of free agency, they sit $20.6 million over the projected salary cap for the 2024 season.

Although they probably haven't seriously considered moving on from a dynamic receiver like Cooper, trading him would clear up over $12 million in cap space, bringing them closer to evening out and the opportunity to sign new players to the team.

What would a deal for Amari Cooper look like for the Patriots?

According to Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, acquiring a player like Cooper would benefit the Patriots and Browns.

For Cleveland, it would easily clear up a ton of cap space by moving on from just one player, which makes the proposal a bit trickier to rule out completely.

New England would get a productive receiver who proved he could work with any quarterback, as he caught passes from four just last season. He managed to still record over 1,200 yards and five touchdowns, which is three times the yards of the Patriots' top receiver last year.

On top of that, Knox believes the Patriots wouldn't have to give up much to acquire Cooper in a trade, citing the trade the Browns made in 2022 with the Cowboys when they sent just a fifth-rounder and swapped sixth-round picks.

"Plus, trading for Cooper shouldn't be overly expensive. The Browns acquired him in 2022 for just a fifth-round pick and a swap of sixth-round selections. If Cleveland is willing to deal him now, it'll be more interested in the cap savings than acquiring premium draft compensation."

If that's accurate, then why would either team second-guess this transaction?

Then there's the added element of Alex Van Pelt as the Patriots' new offensive coordinator. He worked for the Browns from 2020 through the 2023 season, and in the first two years there, he was the OC and worked directly with Cooper.

Because of that previous working relationship, it would probably be an easy transition for Cooper into a new system. Van Pelt has already proven he knows how to use the receiver effectively and helped him accomplish the first of his back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in Cleveland.

Given the unfavorable circumstances the Patriots' offense is in and the tremendous upgrades needed to become a competitive team again, adding a guy like Cooper would propel them in a positive direction no matter who they decide to be quarterback.

Joining the likes of Demario Douglas and (hopefully) a re-signed Kendrick Bourne would put the offense back on the map, and that's a great way for them to head into the draft.

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