It sure is sounding like the New England Patriots will look a whole lot different next season.
The defeat comes at an interesting time for the Patriots. The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, and now that it’s looking like a playoff longshot, New England could look to be sellers. It remains to be seen just how active, if at all, the Patriots will be in the trade market in the coming days, but they reportedly are keeping their options open.
“This year was always going to be about turning the page?the Patriots are carrying nearly $30 million in dead money on their cap this year, and have held onto their draft picks for a reason,” Albert Breer wrote in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column for Sports Illustrated. “They needed to clean up their financials. They still need to get younger. Sure, when Newton signed, the idea of what this year would be was clouded a little bit. But they?ve needed to clear the decks for a while. And now that they?re 2?5, and we know getting a win is going to be a fight every time going forward, it makes sense for the team to see what they can get for pricey, well-heeled vets like Stephon Gilmore, Joe Thuney, David Andrews and Lawrence Guy. Which, I?m told, they?ve already made an effort to do?telling teams they?ll listen to trade offers on almost everyone on the roster.”
Each of those four players Breer mentions would be a great addition for a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Thuney, Andrews and Guy also are on expiring contracts, so the Patriots are in jeopardy of losing them for nothing in free agency over the offseason anyway.
New England has managed to prevent going through a full-fledged rebuild over the past two decades. But we all knew this absurd run of success wasn’t going to last forever, and it might be time for the Patriots finally to start completely fresh.