Patriots’ Recent Trade History Suggests Preseason Deal Is Likely

If recent history is any indication, the New England Patriots will make at least one trade before the start of the 2017 regular season. It’s unlikely that trade will yield an impact player, though.

The Patriots have made at least one preseason trade in four of the past five years and two or more deals in three of those years. Occasionally, these trades produce players who go on to play significant roles that season. More often than not, they’re for depth players or guys who wind up being cut.

With New England nearing the home stretch of the NFL preseason, we took a look back at their trade activity from the past five summers.

Keep in mind that we’re only considering trades that were made between the beginning of training camp and start of the regular season, so midseason swaps (like the ones for Kyle Van Noy in 2016 and Akeem Ayers in 2014) or those made in the spring (like the Brandin Cooks deal earlier this year) don’t count.

2016
Barkevious Mingo, linebacker
Date acquired: Aug. 25
From: Cleveland Browns
For: 2017 fifth-round draft pick

Mingo was a core special teamer in his one season with the Patriots but didn’t contribute much at linebacker, playing just 47 defensive snaps all year. He’s now with the Indianapolis Colts after signing with them in March.

Eric Rowe, cornerback
Date acquired: Sept. 7
From: Philadelphia Eagles
For: 2018 fourth-round draft pick (can become third-rounder)

Acquired after final cuts, Rowe, who’d been drafted in the second round just one year earlier, carved out a nice role for himself in the Patriots’ secondary and is expected to enter this season as New England’s No. 3 cornerback. He’s had by far the greatest impact of any player on this list.

2015
Ryan Groy, guard
Date acquired: Aug. 11
From: Chicago Bears
For: linebacker Matthew Wells

Groy was released before the start of the season and never played in a game for the Patriots. He wound up in Buffalo, where he remains after signing a two-year contract extension with the Bills earlier this year.

Michael Williams, tight end
Date acquired: Aug. 26
From: Detroit Lions
For: 2017 seventh-round draft pick

The big-bodied Williams appeared in 15 games, starting nine, and played more snaps than the disappointing Scott Chandler during the 2015 season while backing up Rob Gronkowski. He missed all of last season with a torn ACL, though, and was released this past May.

Jalen Saunders, wide receiver
Date acquired: Sept. 1
From: New Orleans Saints
For: conditional draft pick

Saunders was released four days after this trade and now plays in the CFL.

2014
Jerel Worthy, defensive end
Date acquired: Aug. 15
From: Green Bay Packers
For: conditional draft pick

Worthy, a second-round pick in 2012, didn’t last long in New England. He was released Aug. 30 during final roster cuts and has been teammates with Groy in Buffalo since 2015.

Ben Bass, defensive tackle
Date acquired: Aug. 15
From: Dallas Cowboys
For: defensive back Justin Green

Bass was cut Aug. 26, signed to the practice squad Sept. 26 and released for good Oct. 30. He’s since been out of football.

Tim Wright, tight end
Date acquired: Aug. 26
From: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For: guard Logan Mankins

This deal was a stunner at the time, as Mankins was a six-time Pro Bowler and arguably New England’s best offensive lineman. Wright caught 26 passes for 259 yards and six touchdowns for the 2014 Patriots team that went on to win Super Bowl XLIX, but the real prize of this deal was the 2015 fourth-round pick the Pats acquired from Tampa Bay. They used it to select defensive end Trey Flowers, who blossomed into one of the team’s top defenders last season.

** The Patriots also traded quarterback Ryan Mallett to the Houston Texans on Aug. 31, receiving a conditional seventh-round pick in return.

2013
None

2012
Greg Salas, wide receiver
Date acquired: Sept. 1
From: St. Louis Rams
For: 2015 seventh-round draft pick

Salas spent the first two months of the 2012 season on the Patriots’ practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster in late November and appeared in one game, catching zero passes, before being released.

Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images

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