Another blog and another team the Patriots could potentially trade with. In today's piece, we will look at three different trades the Patriots could make with the Cincinnati Bengals, who just missed going to back-to-back Super Bowls in 2022.
For consistency, I will outline the trade package that would be needed based on the NFL trade history of similar players. None of these trades have been proposed (at least not to my knowledge) or are in the works behind the scenes. This speculation is for entertainment purposes only.
1. Patriots trade Michael Onwenu to the Bengals for a 2024 3rd-round pick
I do not want the Patriots to trade Michael Onwenu, as I believe he could anchor this offensive line for years to come. The writing is on the wall though, as it is time to "go or get off the pot" in terms of giving him a contract extension. Bill has shown over the years that he is unwilling to pay top-tier money for interior offensive linemen. He let Joe Thuney walk after the 2020 season and traded Logan Mankins after the 2013 season.
The Mankins trade is what I am using as a comp for this deal since the Patriots received a 4th-round pick and tight end, Tim Wright, in the exchange with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Onwenu is still on a rookie deal, which adds to his value, and the Patriots aren't interested in a Bengals tight end.
The Bengals are desperate for offensive line help and have been since they almost got Joe Burrow killed in 2020 when they gave up the 6th most sacks in the league. In 2021 they gave up the 3rd most sacks and did beef up the offensive line last year, but they still gave up the 11th most sacks in the NFL. Onwenu allowed only one sack last year on 1,044 snaps. He would be a welcome addition to the team, especially welcomed by their quarterback.
2. Patriots trade a 2024 4th-round pick and a 2024 6th-round pick for Tyler Boyd
Receiver is the biggest need for the Patriots, so many of these trade scenarios will be added to a room currently led by Juju Smith-Shuster. The Patriots would love to get Tee Higgins here, but the price tag would be too high since the Bengals want to keep him and Jamarr Chase as a top number one and number two receiving duo in the league. They can't afford all three players, though.
Tyler Boyd is no slouch, and projects to be a solid number two for the Patriots. His 71% catch percentage over the last two seasons rivals Justin Jefferson and Stefon Diggs, but he bests the two of them with a 3.7% drop percentage in 2022 and a 0% drop percentage in 2021.
Boyd has excellent hands, and in 20223 started catching more deep balls than quick slant routes. He averaged 13.1 yards per catch and could put up significant numbers with more targets.
The comp for this trade would be between the Brandin Cooks trade to the Cowboys, which was for a 5th and 6th, and Chase Claypool to the Bears for a 2nd.
3. Patriots trade Deatrich Wise for the Bengals' 2024 2nd-round pick and 2024 4th-round pick
The Bengals may have been bad against the pass rush in 2022, but they were pitiful on the other side of the ball. They managed only 30 sacks and 38 quarterback hurries on the season. Any passer who faced the Bengals' defense last year had all the time in the world to sit in the pocket.
On the flip side, the New England Patriots have pass rushers in spades. They led the league in hurries in 2022 and were third in the league in sacks. Deatrich Wise's contribution to those numbers was 7.5 sacks and 16 hurries. With the addition of Georgia Tech monster Keion White, Wise becomes expendable, and moving him to the Bengals saves the Patriots $4.7 million against the cap.
The comp for this trade was between Yannick Ngakoue, traded in 2020 for a 2nd and a 5th, and Von Miller, traded in 2021 for a 2nd and a 3rd. Both players had similar stats to Wise the year before.