First time emailing; my question is regarding the draft. If the Patriots were to trade down from our current pick No. 23 to, say, somewhere in the range of 27-32 in the first round, what additional pick could we get in return? My thought is that we could get a 2021 second rounder or a 2020 third rounder. Is this realistic and is that something worth considering? Thomas O'Hearn
Thanks for joining the discussion, Thomas. When it comes to the trading of draft picks for other draft picks, most teams, including New England, often refer to a so-called "value chart," which essentially assigns a point total (I'm not exactly sure how it's calculated) to each of the 250-some-odd picks. Each team's chart might be slightly different than the others clubs', but they're generally in the same neighborhood. A high first-round pick, for instance, could be worth several thousand points, while a late seventh-round selection might only be worth a single point.
For the sake of argument, let's say that New England's 23rd overall pick in the 2020 first round is valued in the mid-700s. In order to agree to a trade with another team that wants to move up from the bottom of the first round, the total value of what that team offers should be at least equal to what the Patriots currently have.
In this example, let's take the average value of the range you mentioned, picks 27-32, which would hypothetically be around 630-635. That means whatever else the other team is offering has to be around 120-130 points in value to equal the mid-700s value of New England's 23rd choice. A 2020 third-round pick, as you suggested, would get the job done, even if it's towards the end of that round. Of course, a second-round pick in next year's draft would hold a much higher individual value, but it's almost impossible to ascertain whether or not the Patriots – or any team involved in such a trade – would rather have a pick in hand for this draft or a future one. However, from a pure mathematical standpoint, your suggestion is an entirely reasonable one. Erik Scalavino
If Chicago offered the 43rd and 50th pick for 23, would Bill [Belichick] consider it? Ryan Plourde
Again, if you simply take the value chart approach, this math more than adds up. And considering that, at the moment, New England doesn't own a second-round pick in this year's draft, it might look even more enticing to the Patriots to move down and grab a pair of Twos. Unless, of course, a player they truly covet is available at 23. Impossible to guess what the team would prefer to do at this stage, if such an offer were on the table. Erik Scalavino
With the Browns looking to listen to trade offers for [WR Odell Beckham Jr.], is it possible Bill trades for OBJ? Adding him would make [Tom] Brady happy, with the addition or a [veteran] TE. But I would also figure out OL and possibly look at adding a RB. Mark Silveira
First of all, when it comes to potential trades, ANYTHING is possible. The question you should be asking is, what is the likelihood of such a trade occurring. It's a dangerous game to assign the word "never" to the Patriots, particularly with the unpredictable Bill Belichick involved, but at this point, I'd put the likelihood of a trade for Beckham in the low category. It would require a sizeable investment, which New England can't really afford right now, given all the potential other areas of the roster it needs to address.
Another factor to consider is the potential fit of a player like Beckham in New England's system. There's no denying his obvious on-field talent. It's his often demonstrative nature that might rub some in the organization the wrong way – although that hasn't precluded the Patriots from pursuing other such players in the past.
As far as what would make free agent-to-be Tom Brady happy, no one aside from him and a very tight circle of people closest to him knows what that is. Erik Scalavino
Do you think it is possible to trade for Eagles TE Dallas Goedert? They have Zach Ertz, so, is there any chance they would consider dealing Goedert? Would you be willing to deal the first pick for him? Or possibly two third-round picks? Tom Noga
Once again, almost anything is possible, trade-wise. But in this instance, if I'm the Eagles, why on earth would I want to dispose of a promising young talent, simply because I have another one at the same position on my roster. Have you forgotten how the Patriots once had the most fearsome tight end duo in the NFL during the early part of the last decade? And a team like Baltimore attacked opposing defenses with a three-headed tight end monster last season?
If a team were willing to give Philly "an offer they can't refuse" for Goedert, I'm sure they'd accept it. I just don't see New England being that team. Erik Scalavino
Greetings. Thanks for the consistent good work. If the Patriots are able to keep [Devin] McCourty, [Joe] Thuney, and [Kyle] Van Noy (which I think they should do) at market rates, how much would they have left over for TB12? Bill West
Not much, and in all likelihood, not nearly enough, as things currently stand with the salary cap. Erik Scalavino
With all the talk across the media and airwaves about [Tom] Brady's free agency, the question remains, what are the desires of Bill, Josh [McDaniels], and the team? Do they want Tom Brady or are they on to 2020 without him? Nick Scarpa
That's the biggest question of the NFL offseason this year, Nick. Just give it a couple more weeks and we'll have our answer. Erik Scalavino
What's your opinion on bringing in Jason Witten for a two-year term? Would you think that that would help Brady stick around? Tyrone
Witten was one of the best tight ends in football for a long time. Those days are history, though, and I'd prefer to see New England improve its roster with younger veteran or rookie talent. And probably not is my answer to your second question. Erik Scalavino
Given his size and strength and the great need in the tight end position since Gronk's retirement, if N'Keal Harry again has trouble separating from quicker DBs, could you envision the Patriots converting him to TE? Ravi Reddy
No, I couldn't. Not saying it's inconceivable, just highly unlikely. There's precedent, of course, for Belichick's Patriots succeeding in taking a former first-round pick at one "glamor" position and moving him to a less attractive one (Devin McCourty going from corner to safety early in his career), but at this point, it's too soon to abandon hope for Harry as a receiver.
Also, don't let the measurable numbers fool you. Not all 6-4, 225-pound body types are made the same. Harry is a big receiver, but would be a small tight end if he were to move to that position. I just don't see it happening. I'm more anxious to see how Harry performs in the spring and summer following a full offseason in the team's offseason workout program. Erik Scalavino