Are they going or not? New England Patriots trade deadline activity will be based on supply and demand


For the next few hours, it’s all about the simple laws of economics.

To be exact, it’s about supply and demand.

With the NFL trading deadline set for Tuesday, November 2 at 4:00 p.m. ET, several NFL teams will be working on the line of communication; seeking the opportunity to improve their team, both short term and long term.

At 4-4, the New England Patriots find themselves in an interesting position. They currently sit eighth in the AFC, owning a tiebreaker with the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns, based on head-to-head winning percentage. While visions of a playoff berth were seen as mere fantasy just a few weeks ago, the Pats are currently in the mix, in a conference that’s there for the taking.

A playoff chance is usually enough to convince a given team to pursue the goal, at any reasonable cost. However, the Pats must decide in the next few hours whether this cost is both achievable and reasonable.

With just north of $ 2.6 million of salary cap space available ($ 2,663,503, according to @patscap, Miguel Benzan), the Patriots are not in a fiscal position of strength. As a result, an agreement for a large salary is highly unlikely. While it is possible for the “selling” team to decide to rework a player’s current deal (in hopes of enticing the “buyer” to seek a trade), such a decision would likely have its own. price. The seller would likely raise their asking price, in the form of project capital, or even NFL loan talent in return. After spending a small fortune on free agency before 2021, the Patriots are not in line for the seemingly annual windfall of compensatory picks. As a result, head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots brain trust might be a little more reluctant to part ways with his draft picks as trading chips.

Therefore, if the Patriots are indeed “buyers” by the trade deadline, it will likely be a minor, pale move compared to Monday’s blockbuster that sent Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams. .

Again, for the Patriots, it will be a matter of supply and demand. Let’s take a look at some potential options.


While many within the fanbase remain adamant in their position that the wide receiver is the team’s most needed position, the Patriots would actually be better served by adding some help in the defensive backfield. especially at the cornerback. Since the Stephon Gilmore trade, New England have promoted defensive back Myles Bryant to the active roster, while adding cornerbacks Brian Poole and De’Vante Bausby. Sadly, they also lost cornerback Jonathan Jones, who recently underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. Rookie corner Shaun Wade, who was acquired via trade before the start of the 2021 season, has yet to play a regular season snap. Finally, Joejuan Williams remained an inconsistent depth option at best.

Few would say JC Jackson earned the team’s top spot in this position, the opposite outside corner was moderately effective at best. (… And that’s probably being generous.) Free agent signing Jalen Mills notably struggled on the road, having already spent his most productive time in the slot with the Philadelphia Eagles. While playing away, the 27-year-old was regularly beaten on the cover. If the Pats got some help in the outside corner, it could allow Mills to get back into the slot, with Bryant playing a more situational role.


This is, as they say, that the plot thickens. Having already traded the best and most requested cornerback available to Gilmore, the chances of a significant impact perimeter corner becoming available for the Patriots are minimal. For example, rumors started circulating on Monday that the Miami Dolphins might be willing to listen to cornerback Xavien Howard’s commercial offers. However, making a deal with a division rival, for one of its most prolific players, is a distant possibility.

One name that continues to persist is Broncos corner Kyle Fuller. Fuller possesses the versatility to play both in the slot machine, as well as on the perimeter. The 29-year-old has apparently fallen out of favor with Denver, who are clearly not opposed to making deals. However, it might be priced a bit too high for the value it would bring back to New England. According to PatsCap’s Miguel Benzan, if Fuller were traded to a new team this week and the Broncos did not renew his deal before the trade, his cap number for his new team would be $ 5,235,294.12. While creative money management can theoretically make this work, it seems like a long way to go at best.

Another cornerback currently being discussed as a potential option is Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Steven Nelson. Nelson is a more than adequate cover corner, currently playing against Darius Slay in the Eagles’ high school. The 28-year-old received a cover rating of 64 by Pro Football Focus and would be a good choice against JC Jackson. Financially, the Patriots could do this job because Nelson’s base salary is less than $ 1 million as he plays on a deal that is set to be canceled in 20222. Mix up the fact that the Patriots and the Eagles participated in practices spouses (usually a popular scouting opportunity for Belichick and the Pats’ coaching staff), and that sounds like a recipe for success. Still, the catch lies in the uncertainty surrounding the Eagles’ desire to get rid of his serves. Philadelphia’s plans for this position may or may not include retaining Nelson. This could be one to watch, the expected price being more to the taste of the Patriots.

Final analysis

While the Pats would be smart to explore their options on Tuesday, the chances of them reaching a deal are described as “questionable.” The demand may be palpable, but the supply is simply inadequate. In order for the Patriots to trade for a competent corner upgrade (or any position of need for that matter), they would likely have to make up the pay gap by including a current player (or two), or by requiring the seller to consume a significant portion of the rest of said player. Doing the latter will almost force New England to cede additional capital to facilitate any deal.

Of course, in Foxboro anything is possible. Still, that doesn’t necessarily make it likely.


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