With the trade deadline fast approaching on October 29th, time is running out for the Patriots to make a swap and improve their team. In the past, the team has never been shy about making moves that can often pay off down the line. Some recent notable in-season trade acquisitions include Josh Gordon (2018), Kyle Van Noy (2016), Akeem Ayers (2014) and Aqib Talib (2012). The team is always trying to improve and they leave few stones unturned in their quest to get better.
The Patriots have been thinned by injuries, especially along the offensive line, at receiver and tight end. Any number of moves at those positions could bring impact players who could step in and make a difference. To be sure, with limited cap space there would need to be plenty of salary cap jiggering required to add a substantial player, but let's not let things like the salary cap get in the way here.
This week's Samsonite Make Your Case question is which potential trade target would help improve the Patriots the most?
Mike Dussault says ...
With Ben Watson now in the mix and the potential for Isaiah Wynn to return in four weeks, the biggest remaining need is at wide receiver where things are far from certain after Julian Edelman. Rookie N'Keal Harry will return but expecting a sizable contribution from him or either of the other two rookie receivers for that matter is asking a lot. That's why Sanders makes sense on a number of levels. We know the Patriots once signed him to an offer sheet, so they must think he fits their offensive system. Plus, he's just the kind of "quick-open" receiver that Tom Brady always seems to work best with.
With Denver coming off a loss to the Chiefs the time could be right to move the 32-year-old as it might be their last chance to get any return on the veteran. Sanders has 25 catches in his first six games and could immediately become a reliable second receiver who can make the tough catches in the middle of the field, while bringing another element of speed to the attack.
Paul Perillo says ...
Williams might be the most difficult to acquire in terms of resources needed both to get him and pay him but he makes the most sense. The Patriots offensive line has been inconsistent this season, partly due to injuries but also in performance. Adding Williams, a perennial Pro Bowl left tackle, would make everyone better.
The offense has been sputtering as of late with a lack of depth at wide receiver, no proven commodities at tight end and a running game that has been lacking all season. Rather than trying to plug in a wideout and hoping he can get up to speed, it makes more sense to add to the offensive line in case Isaiah Wynn struggles coming back from injury. Bolstering the front should help the running game, which in turn could open up things through the air. It's a win-win.
The Redskins haven't been willing to budge thus far as Williams has sat out the first six games, so it won't be easy to swing a deal. It could take multiple high draft picks – maybe even two first-rounders – and Williams likely wants some new money as well. All of this makes it an unlikely deal for New England, but it may be exactly what the offense needs to find consistency.