Last year, the Patriots traded down and prevented the rival New York Jets from landing a player they wanted in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

On Thursday night, New England apparently was on the other end of divisional gamesmanship.

Not long before the Patriots selected Drake Maye with the third overall pick, head coach Jerod Mayo teased a potential trade that would give his team another first-round selection. A deal never came to pass, and New England waited until Day 2 of the draft to add support for Maye.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying, however. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots were in talks with the Buffalo Bills about acquiring the final pick of Round 1.

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“The Patriots had a trade offer on the table to the Bills late in the first round on Thursday night, according to a source,” Reiss wrote. “The Bills were at pick No. 32 (after a trade back with the Chiefs), but instead of dealing with their AFC East rival Patriots for No. 34, they chose Carolina’s offer to slide back one spot to No. 33.

“Receivers Xavier Legette and Keon Coleman were selected at 32 and 33 before the Patriots traded back from 34, so one can deduce the Patriots had either Legette or Coleman as their target — or possibly both. My hunch is Legette.”

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New England ultimately selected wideout Ja’Lynn Polk at No. 37 after failing to complete a deal with Buffalo and trading down from No. 34. Reiss’ ESPN colleague, draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., thought the pick was a head-scratcher, but Mayo was “excited” to add the Washington product.

The Patriots drafted another pass-catcher in the fourth round when they selected the ever-confident Javon Baker out of UCF. Both Baker and Polk will have opportunities to help New England not lament its failed trade talks with Buffalo.

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Featured image via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images