I mentioned this in one of my earlier blogs, when I talked about a Cam Newton extension. I specifically mentioned about loading up in that blog. In this blog if you remember I talked about how this year really depends on the key players in draft classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020. We need to see how those draft picks performed. Once identified then you know about a core of key players that you will have for this next run. Once they identify those key pieces, then given their cap situation if the cap isn’t a crapshoot by the 2021 and 2022 season (which it most likely won’t be because the cap in football doesn’t seem to exist). The Patriots should be loading up to get back where they have been for years. I was all about seeing how the Patriots started off the season and loading up depending on what they need. Their needs right now are staring you in the face, and that need is help on offense.
Well you are starting to see players emerge on the O-Line, at running back such as Damien Harris and JJ Taylor, but players like N’Keal Harry and Sony Michel are very inconsistent at this point. Also the Patriots definitely need a pass rusher or addition help on the defensive line
The Patriots are 2-3 and have a lot of needs mainly for their offensive side of the roster. Here is a list of positions that the Patriots should prioritize heading into the trade deadline.
I believe the Tight End position is the number one need for the Pats. You have talent/potential at receiver with Edelman, Harry, Byrd and Olszewski. Some guys just need to perform better and have more usage in the offense. As for the Tight End position it has been the abyss of the offense since Gronk retired and left. Izzo isn’t the answer, Asaisi and Keene just aren’t ready yet. You need to acquire a Tight End, especially a guy with years on their deal or one still on their rookie deal.
Here is some names to look out for in the next couple weeks:
Evan Engram from the Giants
Kyle Rudloph from the Vikings
Hunter Henry from the Chargers
David Njoku from the Browns
With the expectations of Hunter Henry who’s playing on the franchise tag, everyone else on that list has at least 2 years plus left on their contract with no back brake cap hits. If I would have to pick I would take either Engram or Henry given their production and age also any of these guys would cost a late round pick. I know what you are thinking, where is Zach Ertz on my list? He recently got hurt. I think he is out for the next month and I don’t think he can be traded due to the fact that he might be on IR as well. If he wasn’t hurt he would be the guy to get. I still think that it’s Engram or Henry for me.
Yes this is a need, but you have to acquire a serviceable Tight End and this might not be a huge focus as some people think. While having a serviceable tight end that can be consistent will create more favorable matchups especially for Harry and Edelman. Let’s say that they strike out when it comes to getting a tight end. Then they need to hit on getting a quality wideout. To be honest you can go in so many directions with this and you’ll have a lot of options at this position.
Here is some names to look out for in the next couple weeks:
Julio Jones from the Falcons
Odell Beckham Jr from the Browns
Allen Robinson from the Bears
Michael Gallup from the Cowboys
Kenny Stills and/or Will Fuller from the Texans
Marvin Jones Jr and/or Kenny Golladay from Lions
Adam Thielen from the Vikings
Golden Tate from the Giants
John Ross and/or AJ Green from the Bengals
There will probably be more names in the weeks to come, but let’s stick with this list. It has a lot of names and realistically probably only a couple of them will be traded at the deadline. The offseason is a completely different story though. I think all these names are available, but the price and contract might be reasons they don’t get moved until the offseason. So I don’t think Julio Jones, Adam Thielen get moved at the deadline, but this offseason is a possibility. As for the rest of the list I can see the Patriots absolutely make a move on one of them before the deadline.
So if they don’t get a tight end, I do think they give a strong look at OBJ and Allen Robinson despite the Bears and Browns being 5-1 and 4-2. Both just don’t look like fit for either team anymore because of a contract(Robinson) or getting enough production(OBJ). If they do acquire Tight End I think they strongly look at Gallup, Jones Jr., Golladay, Will Fuller, or John Ross. They all have very cheaper contracts and/or final years of their deal with an extension very well could be in play. As for AJ Green and Golden Tate, if TB12 was still with the team I see it. Right now it just doesn’t make sense to bring in 30+ year old receivers. If I had to pick who I prefer I would want OBJ in a heartbeat, but I don’t know what the Browns are thinking. So I think the Pats will probably acquire Golladay,Jones Jr.,Fuller or John Ross. The first three are probably familiar with past offenses given that they are in similar offenses. Out of those 4 I want Golladay, but they probably acquire John Ross in the end.
This position you may think hey they are really productive so why do they need to add to it? Yes they are productive. But they are thin at the position and an injury to the D-line would be catastrophic to the team. I’m open minded to this and if a guy like say JJ Watt becomes available, you have to think about it. A future hall of famer can be a mentor to a relatively young front 7, and he can still get after the QB and is productive. Again that depends how much the Texans are willing to sell off to get draft capital and a hard salary. So I keep an eye out for that.
Same thing as the D-Line,your O-Line has been great. Adding depth to the offensive line due to all the injuries could be a way that the Patriots go. I would like someone to add depth, but won’t be surprised if they don’t make a move there.
Already we have a conspiracy. Yes I believe Cam will be the QB through the 2021 season, unless it becomes an absolute disaster. But I doubt it. What if Cam is alright, not good, not great, would the Pats be in the market for a QB at the deadline. I doubt they would trade for anyone at the deadline, because I think they will stick Cam or see what Stidham has if they fall out of playoff contention later in the season. For the offseason if the Pats and Cam mutually go separate ways I would look out for these QBs to potentially be available Jimmy G, Sam Darnold, Jacoby Brissett, Matthew Stafford, Mitch Trubisky, Matt Ryan, and Daniel Jones. Again I prefer Cam, but names to keep an eye on especially if they can’t figure out an extension with Cam and they address their needs at the deadline.
Finally I do think the Patriots will be active this deadline,as I think they will probably add a Tight end and receiver. Both probably on their rookie deals which won’t require major draft capital.