The New England Patriots must trim 22 players from their roster before 4 p.m. ET Saturday, and those might not even be the only transactions they make.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in his Friday conference call the team remains in communication with teams regarding potential trades as the 53-man roster cutdown deadline rapidly approaches.
“I?d say about the same as it always is,” Belichick said one day after the Patriots finished the preseason with a 17-9 loss to the New York Giants. “We communicate with a lot of teams in the league. Obviously, there are some that we?re not in real close communication with, like every team, and it just all depends on how those conversations go, whether there is mutual interest or something that would possibly work for both sides.
“There are a lot of moving parts. I?d say usually if you?re in conversation — unless it?s about a specific player; them talking to you about one or you talking to them about one — unless it?s about a very specific player, then those conversations are probably multiple. So, the team is looking for a position, or if you?re looking for a position then it?s more than one team that?s involved there, so it?s really a process that you just kind of work through.”
The Patriots already completed one trade earlier in the preseason, sending a conditional fifth-round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns last Thursday for linebacker/defensive end Barkevious Mingo. Mingo made a strong impression Thursday in his Patriots debut, recording six tackles and forcing two fumbles against the Giants.
One name to watch over the next few days is Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson, whom the team reportedly was shopping this week. Dobson, who caught three passes for 61 yards against New York, is one of several wideouts fighting for the fifth receiver spot.
“Another team?s trying to get the best deal, or you?re trying to get the best deal, or seeing who?s available or stuff like that,” Belichick said. “That?s really the way it always is. There is a pretty decent level of communication right now because everybody is going through the same thing and trying to position things for the season the best that they can.
“Everybody is dealing with some type of guys that can?t play for one reason or another but are going to be on their team — guys that might be on their team that can?t contribute right now but have a good prospective future that they want to keep and work with. Sometimes that amounts to something, sometimes it doesn?t, but I?d say that?s always in place at this time of year.”
Belichick also could choose to bolster his roster via waiver-wire signings, snatching up players other teams have discarded. Running back, guard and offensive tackle likely are on the Patriots’ shopping list, as injuries have left them thin at those positions.
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