Patriots Mailbag: Could Pats Trade Players For Additional Draft Picks?


Mar 13, 2020

Out of every professional sports league affected by the coronavirus, the NFL will see the least impact.

But that doesn’t mean the NFL won’t be affected by COVID-19.

In the immediate, pro days will likely be canceled. That means essentially any NFL draft prospect who either wasn’t invited to or didn’t work out at the NFL Scouting Combine will have an incomplete set of measurable data for NFL teams. That could result in fewer small-school prospects being selected this year. It also could make the undrafted free agency process more difficult for teams trying to find diamonds in the rough. NFL teams will have less data on prospects in general since many pre-draft visits will also be canceled.

Free agency also will be affected. It’s unlikely that players will take visits with teams as is typical after the first wave of free agency has concluded. Physicals might need to be conducted remotely. We also might start to see remote “visits” done via video conference.

But ultimately, free agency and the draft can continue as planned, and we’re all certainly hoping the virus has been contained by the time practices begin this summer. There’s no real reason to push back the start of the new league year. The NFL draft doesn’t need to be held in front of an audience.

Are you going to cancel your #MailDoug because of the Coronavirus too?
Of course not. Currently writing this from the safety of my own home, where I plan to definitely go stir-crazy, if I’m not already.

Let’s dig in:

Any under the radar players the Pats could be/are targeting for a trade?
I gave a fairly lengthy list of pass-catchers the Patriots could target via trade earlier this week. The top candidates, in my opinion, were Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis, New York Giants tight end Evan Engram, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross and Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku. Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard are good players, but I’m not sure their teams would be willing to give them up. And if they are, then at what cost?

Outside of those players, and if we’re still looking at the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft as a pool of players, then I’d look at Arizona Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick or Denver Broncos offensive lineman Garrett Bolles. Both players have disappointed and could be nice bargains. Perhaps they could revive their careers in blue, red and silver.

#MailDoug what do you think about Brady watch & do you think he will be a Patriot in the upcoming season?
I’m still holding strong and saying he’ll be back.

I’m certainly feeling less confident by the day, however. I just can’t see him going to Tennessee or Tampa to play for the Titans or Buccaneers. Maybe he could play for the Chargers if Los Angeles’ owners can afford him.

I’d lean more strongly toward Brady leaving in free agency if the New York Giants, Los Angeles Rams or Miami Dolphins were better fits and had needs at quarterback. I could see him going to LA, New York or South Florida

More: Patriots: Where To Start Looking For Potential Pass Catchers

Seeing as the Patriots don’t have any 2nd round picks, can you see BB packaging some later round picks to try to move into the 2nd considering there’s likely to be a 1st round overflow of talent? #MailDoug
I could see the Patriots trading down more than trading back up. They would likely have to trade future picks to get back into the second round, and they don’t do that.

#MailDoug what does a trade down from 23 generate ? A later 1st and a 2nd ? 2 -2s , a 1 and 3 ?
A trade down from No. 23 overall could get the Patriots a later first- and a third-round pick. They could also get two second-round picks or a future first and a 2020 second-rounder.

The Patriots already have 12 picks, so they might be most willing to make that move for a future first and a second.

Can you break down what is going on with the CBA and how the vote can effect the patriots options as free agency looms? Ex how much easier is it for us to keep Tom and get weapons if it passes versus fails? Is this why the Pats aren’t making deals with their FA’s yet? #maildoug
It will be much easier to re-sign Tom Brady if the CBA passes. Essentially — broken down as simply as possible — the Patriots would be able to sign Brady to a lower cap hit in 2020 if the new CBA goes through.

That would, in turn, also make it easier for the Patriots to otherwise improve their roster.

Do you see any player-for-pick trades that would make sense, for NE to pick up a 2nd round pick? Since NE is relatively strong at corner, what do you think a team would give for JC Jackson? #MailDoug
I wouldn’t be shocked if the Patriots dealt Jackson, but I also think it’s better to keep him.

Jackson will be a restricted free agent next season. I would suspect the Patriots will give him a first-round tender in the 2021 offseason. In that case, they’ll either bring him back at an affordable salary or receive a first-round pick from another team in a trade. That’s a win-win, especially considering the fact that they’ll receive another year of production out of him.

The only way the Patriots would trade Jackson is if they feel like they can’t trust him off the field. He went undrafted because of off-field issues. He’s had no issues through two years in New England, however.

Outside of Jackson, I don’t know if the Patriots could trade anyone for a second-round pick. Perhaps if Brady leaves, then they could trade Julian Edelman to the QB’s new team?

Let’s go rapid fire.

Harrison Bryant or Adam Trautman? #MailDoug
I’m still at the point where I’m confusing Harrison and Hunter Bryant.

I prefer Adam Trautman and Hunter Bryant to Harrison Bryant. I also prefer Trautman to Hunter Bryant because of his size and blocking ability. Hunter Bryant is the slightly better athlete, however.

Will the NFL draft be held online instead of Vegas?
That seems to be the way it’s trending, but we’ll find out in a few weeks.

What song’s chorus do you sing while washing your hands?
“Friday” by Rebecca Black.

Just kidding. Wanted to get that stuck in hour head.

I just count to 20 while I’m washing my hands. Also, I’m going to significantly limit how often I leave my house and go to public places. I plan to work from home and take my daughter on walks. But I’ll try to limit how often I touch things other people could have touched until I know more. I know COVID-19 likely won’t significantly affect my daughter, my wife or myself, but I’m not looking to get sick or pass the coronavirus on to other people.

So, I’m willing to be responsible and sacrifice for a few weeks until needed. And until there is a significant increase in tests, then we simply don’t know how widespread the virus has gone.

My family is fortunate in that my wife and I can work from home and don’t need childcare. I know others aren’t so lucky. So, we might as well be responsible by not taking unnecessary risks that could affect ourselves or others.

if you had to wager your 401k on whether NKeal Harry’s sophomore season is commensurate of a wide receiver taken in the first round — what’s your bet?

If you had to put a % on the chance the pats sign Austin Hooper what would it be?
Low. Like 15 percent, maybe?

Why won’t she text me back Doug
You’re too good for her.

Are you one of the toilet paper hoarders?
Nope. We bought one pack because we were running out anyway. I don’t think we’ve had issues with toilet paper hoarding where I live.

also what should I get get at Dunkin Donu— excuse me, Dunkin’ this morning?
Large french vanilla iced coffee with skim milk and sugar and an order of snackin’ bacon.

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Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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