Could the New England Patriots be eyeing a major splash prior to the NFL’s Nov. 3 trade deadline.
NFL Network’s David Carr seems to believe so. The former quarterback published a story Tuesday noting nine different offensive players who should be pursued via trade, and linked the Patriots to four of them, including two receivers.
Who are those receivers, you may ask? Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones and Cincinnati Bengals’ A.J. Green both were mentioned.
Here’s what Carr said on Jones:
“The Atlanta Falcons have two No. 1 receivers in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. … If the Falcons (1-5) feel like the best thing to do is to start to rebuild for the next regime, I’d put Jones on the block. He would be the ultimate gift for an offense that’s one player away, and there are a number of teams in that situation.
“… Want one more option for Jones? How about New England? The passing game isn’t quite up to snuff, with Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry off to quiet starts as the team’s top two receivers, but adding Julio to the mix would create nightmares for defenses. They would have to double-team Julio, putting Edelman and Harry in advantageous one-on-one situations. It would also keep defenses from putting an extra defender in the box to stop the Patriots’ top-five ground attack. Simply put: Julio Jones would make New England an instant Super Bowl contender.“
“The 32-year-old veteran has just 22 catches on 45 targets for 215 yards and zero TDs. His 9.8 yards per catch and 48.9 percent catch rate are both career lows. Green is far from his prime, when he was a Randy Moss type who would run by and jump over defenders at will, but he’s still a good receiver who has the advantage over a majority of cornerbacks.
“… While Green isn’t as tough a matchup for defenses as Julio, he could still be a difference maker for a team with playoff aspirations. The aforementioned Bears, Packers and Patriots should be interested, but the Eagles and Colts could really use some receiving help, too.“
It’s no debate that the Patriots could use another receiver, and while a trade for Jones would be received well by New England fans, it would take quite the asset to acquire him. After all, the Patriots just traded the same team a second-rounder for Mohamed Sanu at last year’s deadline and he isn’t even on an NFL roster right now.
As far as Green goes, while the Patriots’ asset given up wouldn’t need to be as impactful, the fact is that he make more than $18 million on the franchise tag, which makes it tougher to rationalize.
Of note, the other two players listed by Carr were New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and New York Giants tight end Evan Engram.