The 7-0 New England Patriots certainly don’t need to make a deal by Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline, but they could afford to add some depth at key positions.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Monday on WEEI’s “Dale and Holley” show that he’s open to making moves by the 4 p.m. ET deadline.
“We’re always open to discussions,” Belichick said. “I think everybody in the league probably knows that. Our phone lines are open. Who knows? It’s hard to tell. It takes two to make a deal, and it has to be the right situation and all that.
“We’ve already made a couple (of trades) this year. I think it benefited us to make those early because we’ve had now a number of weeks with some of those players. Guys like (Jon) Bostic and (Akiem) Hicks, guys like that, so they’ve had an opportunity to get acclimated and to contribute to the system (as) opposed to bringing them in now. We’re already three, four, five weeks ahead of that pace. That was good, but we’ll see what happens.”
The Patriots currently have just four cornerbacks on their 53-man roster and no additional depth on their practice squad. They could look for a starter, pushing Logan Ryan or Malcolm Butler down the depth chart to the nickel position, or for a dependable backup in case of injuries.
The Patriots also could look for an offensive tackle at the deadline. Starting left tackle Marcus Cannon is hurt, which has moved Sebastian Vollmer from his normal right tackle spot and forced Cameron Fleming into a starting role.
Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas is among players reportedly available in a trade.
The Patriots already have traded seven times this season, and they’ve made deals in each of the past three seasons on deadline day, acquiring Jonathan Casillas, Isaac Sopoaga and Aqib Talib.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Oct 29, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the field before the start of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports