The number of hypothetical trades over the last few months that send a top-name receiver to the Patriots has become overwhelming yet increasingly desirable.
We've seen the most common ones involving DeAndre Hopkins (before he was released), Jerry Jeudy, and even Tee Higgins. But this latest proposed trade by Bleacher Report has the Patriots getting a player that maybe should've been discussed more.
In the article by Gary Davenport about veteran receivers that teams should pursue in trades, New England is listed as one of the best potential suitors for Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Mike Evans. For a team that has reportedly been inquiring about trading for a much-needed WR1 in recent years, the addition of Evans would significantly boost their offense.
Since the door seems closed on Jeudy and DeAndre Hopkins' future remains unclear, pursuing a trade with Tampa may be the best next move.
We've seen how much Evans has thrived since arriving in the NFL in 2014 with various quarterbacks, from Josh McCown and Jameis Winston to Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tom Brady; he's consistently performed at the top of the league. So much so he's broken the NFL record of accomplishing 1,000 yards in all nine seasons he's been in the NFL.
Imagine that type of production being on the Patriots. Unfortunately, it's probably too good to be true.
Davenport notes that head coach Todd Bowles shut down the idea of Evans being traded this offseason, citing his incredible career as a reason not to move on from him right now.
"I don't know where that [talk] came from, either. Mike's been one of our best players for a long time. He's still productive at a high level, one of my favorite guys on the team. I don't see those two guys (Evans and Chris Godwin) going anywhere."
Although a trade may not seem likely to happen, this is the NFL. There is almost always an undeniable price a team will agree to, especially as Evans' performance has seen a slight dip over the last few seasons.
Davenport notes Evans' age and contract as a potential motivation for the Bucs to make the tough decision to move on, mainly reiterating their current rebuild status as a reason to bulk up on cash and draft picks for the future.
"Evans will also turn 30 in the final year of his contract, and while the Buccaneers may be able to hang around in a bad NFC South with Baker Mayfield at quarterback, the notion that these Buccaneers are any real threat in the postseason just doesn't hold water.
The Buccaneers could accelerate a rebuild with the draft capital gained in trading Evans. And even if Evans isn't the dominant force he once was, he could still make a big difference for a contending team."
So could this potentially happen? Yes.
Would it be an excellent move for the Patriots? Yes.
But are the chances of the Bucs actually trading Evans slim? Absolutely.
Even if it's surely not going to happen due to the Bucs' resistance to even entertain a trade and Belichick's unlikeliness to pay any player what Evans' contract says, it's never a bad idea to dream, right?