The Patriots are 1-5. With games against the Bills and Dolphins up next on their schedule, they easily could be sitting at 1-7 when the Oct. 31 NFL trade deadline arrives.

It’s unclear whether New England plans to be “sellers” ahead of the deadline. That could partially depend on how it performs in these next two matchups with Buffalo and Miami, which both will be heavily favored against Bill Belichick’s flailing squad. Belichick’s possibly tenuous job security is another important factor in that conversation.

But if the struggling Patriots do choose to sell off pieces and shift their focus toward 2024, whom could they look to move? Here are eight possible trade candidates (some logical, others less likely) with deadline day looming:

WR Kendrick Bourne
The most obvious trade chip on the Patriots’ roster, and one whose value probably is at its highest. Bourne caught 10 passes on 11 targets for 89 yards in the loss to Las Vegas and was the only Patriots wideout who got open and made plays with any regularity. Bourne is in his prime at age 28, in the final year of a cheap contract and reportedly garnered trade interest in the past. He’d be a solid depth receiver on a contending team and could fetch the Patriots a half-decent draft pick in return.

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S Adrian Phillips
What happened to Phillips? He was a valuable defender for the Patriots in each of the last three seasons (and, quietly, one of the NFL’s better safeties in 2021) but he’s now hardly playing outside of the kicking game. The 31-year-old has been on the field for just 20% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps, down from 62% last season and 82% in ’21. If a team is looking for a versatile safety who can pitch in on special teams (82% of snaps there this season), New England likely would listen to offers on Phillips. He’s under contract through next season.

DB Jalen Mills
Mills recently griped on social media about his sharp decline in playing time. Though his snaps did increase against the Raiders (20, up from 10 in Week 5), he’s no more than a bit player in this Patriots defense. He’s clearly behind Kyle Dugger and Jabrill Peppers in the safety hierarchy, and New England declined to move him back to cornerback despite their myriad injuries there. And, unlike Peppers, Mills isn’t even playing on special teams (two total snaps this season). It wouldn’t be surprising to see the 29-year-old finish the season elsewhere.

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LB Josh Uche
Moving Uche would further deplete a pass rush that’s visibly suffered without injured star Matthew Judon. But if the Patriots don’t plan to re-sign the 2020 second-rounder when he hits free agency for the first time this offseason, it could make sense to flip him for an asset now. Two potential problems: Uche has just two sacks this season, well off his 11 1/2-sack pace from a season ago, and he exited Sunday’s game with a foot injury.

S Kyle Dugger
Shipping out Dugger would leave an even larger hole in New England’s defense. He and linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley are tied for the team lead in defensive snaps played, and teammates have long raved about Dugger’s athleticism and potential. But, like Uche, this comes down to whether the Patriots view Dugger as a foundational piece moving forward. If they’re not confident they can reach an agreement on a new contract come spring, there’s potential value in flipping him to an interested team. The Patriots might have a different outlook on Dugger if rookie safety/’backer Marte Mapu was further along in his development, but Mapu didn’t play a defensive snap against Las Vegas and has been largely invisible this season.

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OT Trent Brown
This would be the clearest white-flag trade on this list, as Brown has been far and away the best player on New England’s routinely overmatched offensive line. He entered Week 7 as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-highest-graded tackle, and every other Patriots O-lineman ranked toward the bottom of his respective position group. Brown already said he’s looking forward to testing free agency, however, and teams always are on the lookout for quality left tackles. Trading him might get Mac Jones killed, though.

OL Mike Onwenu
Onwenu played at a borderline Pro Bowl level last season as the Patriots’ best O-lineman, and he’s in the same contractual boat as fellow 2020 draftees Uche and Dugger. But he’s been hounded by lingering ankle injuries following offseason surgery, and his play has suffered as a result. The Patriots have played six games, and Onwenu went wire to wire in just two of them (and didn’t play at all in two others).

QB Bailey Zappe
Every NFL team already had a chance to claim Zappe off waivers a month ago, and all of them declined. So, would any be willing to give up even an end-of-the-draft pick to acquire the Patriots’ backup? Unlikely. But it’s abundantly clear that New England has soured on Mac Jones’ once-fever-inducing understudy. Zappe struggled in training camp and the preseason, was erratic in both of his relief appearances and was demoted to third string for the Raiders game, with the untested Malik Cunningham leapfrogging him on the depth chart.

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