The Patriots didn’t wait around until the Oct. 29 deadline to make a trade.
New England on Wednesday officially announced its deal for Mohamed Sanu, who was acquired from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a second-round pick. Pass-catching help arguably was the Patriots’ biggest need as the deadline approached, and they addressed it with a proven, veteran player who’s tailor-made for the team’s offense.
The reigning Super Bowl champions now have few, if any holes on their roster, but does that mean they’re done wheeling and dealing? NFL Network’s Marc Sessler, for one, believes New England could take its already stout defense to the next level by poaching an above-average player from one of the league’s worst teams.
“Given the track record of Mike Brown’s organization in Cincinnati, the Bengals are bound to let the trade deadline come and go without a single transaction, but listening to offers makes sense,” Sessler writes.” (Carlos) Dunlap would give New England an added dose of pass-rushing prowess and potentially pave the way for Michael Bennett’s exit. The underrated Dunlap offers consistent production and versatility. He’s quietly one of the hardest-working defenders in the AFC and would fit like a glove inside Patriot Place.”
Sessler projects New England could pull off a trade for Dunlap by sending Cincinnati a 2020 third-round draft pick. Even though the two-time Pro Bowl selection still has two years beyond 2019 remaining on his contract, this price might still be a bit too steep for the Patriots on the heels of their Sanu trade. It’s clear Bill Belichick and Co. are all in this season in their pursuit of a seventh Super Bowl title for the franchise, but they obviously can’t afford to give up all of their high-end draft capital.
Adding Dunlap would just be gravy for New England anyway. The Patriots arguably feature the league’s top defense, and the unit seems to be growing stronger by the game.
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