Pre-NFL Draft Odds Could Be Best Time To Buy-Low On Patriots

A lot would and can break right for New England


Apr 3, 2024

The Bills continued to cut high-end talent this offseason on Wednesday, which could present an opportunity for the New England Patriots.

Buffalo traded Stefon Diggs, a 2024 sixth-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for a 2025 second-round pick by way of the Minnesota Vikings. The Bills will carry $31 million in dead cap but get out of the star wide receiver’s fully guaranteed $18.5M salary.

The trade adds to a long list of talent players the Bills were forced to cut due to salary cap constraints — the Diggs trade arguably had more to do with tensions between the sides. Buffalo still is the favorite to win the AFC East at most major sportsbooks, but the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets aren’t too far behind. However, New England is a distant fourth with odds as high as 28-1 on Caesers and 25-1 on DraftKings.

It’s understandable, especially given the Patriots’ low win total projection. However, it could present an opportunity. There’s at least one team a season that goes from last to first. The Texans were in that spot last season and aren’t looking back after the Diggs trade. New England has to be in that conversation along with the Cincinnati Bengals, who also would be a contender this season to go from last to first.

That conversation would start with the 2024 NFL Draft. The Patriots need to draft a quarterback, and the rest of the draft would need to be focused on supporting that signal-caller. That rookie quarterback would then need to be really good right away. The pressure would not only be on the rookie but also on the supporting cast and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. If we’re subscribing to the theory that all New England last season was competent quarterback play, then the Patriots should improve if the defense remains a top-10 unit.

The conversation then turns to the rest of the AFC East. Buffalo likely will draft a wide receiver with its first-round pick, but it’s in the position that it’s in because of poor drafts. Josh Allen might not be the miracle worker the Bills hope he can be, and things can fall off hard quickly.

Miami was explosive under Mike McDaniel last season, but it’s 5-10 against teams over .500 since he took over as head coach. The Jets have the most talented roster in the division, but like last season, it all hinges on Aaron Rodgers’ ability to bounce back from his Achilles injury.

It’s asking for a lot to happen, but if you’re into long shots, the Patriots fit the bill.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images

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