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New England Patriots Trade Deadline Dilemma

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Patriots at the Trade Deadline

With the NFL trade deadline looming less than a week away, football fans are buzzing with anticipation. Teams across the league are evaluating their rosters, contemplating whether to bolster their squad for a playoff run or make a final push toward the postseason. The New England Patriots are no exception, and the question on everyone’s mind is whether they’ll be buyers or sellers before Halloween’s trade deadline, a decision that hinges on the outcome of their upcoming game in Miami.

Slim Pickings for Sellers

If the Patriots opt to become sellers, hoping to acquire quality draft picks for the future, the outlook may be less optimistic. According to NFL Network analyst Marc Ross, a former Vice President of Player Evaluation for the Giants, the Patriots’ roster doesn’t offer much that would attract significant trade interest.

“It’s always fun to speculate about trades,” Ross remarked. “But when you look at their roster, who’s going to give up anything for what they have? Maybe Trent Brown?” Ross pointed out the left tackle as a possible candidate for trade, but beyond him, the Patriots lack a wealth of desirable talent.

The Patriots’ Catch-22

The Patriots’ current predicament, sitting at 2-5, can be attributed to the roster they’ve assembled, particularly their lack of blue-chip players, especially on the offensive side of the ball. If the Patriots lose to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday and decide that a complete overhaul is the best course of action, there’s a catch-22 to consider. As Ross soberly noted, “Their organization can say, ‘Ok, let’s trade somebody and build for the future,’ but then who are we going to trade? And it’s nobody.”

In theory, players in the final year of their contracts would make the most sense to move. For the Patriots, this list includes Josh Uche, Kyle Dugger, Jalen Mills, Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, Kendrick Bourne, Michael Onwenu, and Brown. Trent Brown, the standout left tackle, could potentially fetch the best return.

Trent Brown: The Premium Trade Asset

Trent Brown’s potential as a trade asset stands out due to the premium nature of his position. Quality left tackles are a rarity, and when engaged, Brown ranks among the league’s best offensive tackles, as per Pro Football Focus. Furthermore, he’s in a contract year, making him an attractive proposition for playoff-bound teams in need of a reliable blindside protector.

“It’s a premium position,” Ross emphasized regarding the left tackle role. “He’s a veteran guy who could step in there. With the dearth of quality offensive linemen in the league, he would be the one who might generate some interest.”

The return for Brown largely depends on how desperate a team is, which can influence the compensation offered. If a team offers a third-round pick for Brown, the Patriots might seriously consider it, given the inconsistency in his performances.

The Rest of the Trade Candidates

Apart from Brown, the other potential trade candidates mainly fall into the mid-to-late-round category, and the Patriots need to assess whether the returns justify parting with these players. Josh Uche, with his pass-rushing ability, could garner some interest, but Ross still sees him fetching a late-round pick.

While some notable trades occurred last year, the value of most players traded was in the mid-to-late-round range. The Patriots must weigh the trade’s impact on their team. Is a sixth-round pick for Uche truly beneficial, or is it simply a move for the sake of making a trade?

Belichick’s Dilemma

Bill Belichick, the Patriots’ head coach, has a reputation for doing what it takes to win. Whether the team is in contention or not, he aims to accumulate wins. Even if he considered a roster overhaul, the trade chips he has to offer are limited, and the best asset, cornerback Christian Gonzalez, isn’t on the market.

Ross concluded, “It’s easy to say let’s trade these people, but you gotta have trade partners. You gotta have a player teams want. You gotta have the right value for it. There’s a lot of layers to it.” Unfortunately for the Patriots, many of these layers seem to favor them coming up empty on trade returns.

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