With eyes now set on Super Bowl title No. 7 in franchise history, the New England Patriots have some business to take care of this offseason.
The Pats have a few areas of need, but maybe none more than at wide receiver. It was suggested at times that quarterback Tom Brady was working with the weakest collection of weapons this past season than during any previous campaign in his career. And with Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett all free agents, the Patriots would be well advised to bolster the receiving corps.
ESPN’s “Football Outsiders” made “daring moves” for all 32 teams in the NFL, and their transaction for the Pats fills that need out wide. They suggested the Patriots trade “multiple Day 2” draft picks to the Cincinnati Bengals for A.J. Green.
Here’s the reasoning:
“With the long-term quarterback situation cast aside until Tom Brady declines, where the Patriots have the most uncertain future is at receiver. Josh Gordon is awesome when he’s playing, but he’s also Josh Gordon, so you can’t count on him playing. Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett are free agents. Julian Edelman will be 33 next season, and Rob Gronkowski’s openly flirting with retirement and runs like Antonio Gates in the open field, even though he’s nearly 10 years younger than Gates.
Green is probably the most approachable of the star wideouts that could be had, and the Steelers have already said they’re not trading Antonio Brown to the Patriots. Green is coming off season-ending injuries in two of his past three seasons, and without Andrew Whitworth, the Bengals’ offense has imploded, failing to give Andy Dalton time to spot Green deep. Green’s still an electric talent, and turning 31 before July, he might be ready to become a ring-chaser. There’s no better place to do that than in Foxborough, perhaps for the price of a second- and a future third-round pick.”
The Patriots certainly could use a player with Green’s skill set, as he would be able to make life easier for Brady as he plays in his age-42 season in 2019.
Bill Belichick never has been afraid to pull the trigger on a deal if he thinks the player will make his team far better, and the Patriots have plenty of picks in the upcoming draft that they either can use or move as pieces of a trade. What exactly their plan for those picks are remains to be seen, but they probably could make a deal like that if they wanted to.