The NFL has not traditionally seen a heavy trade market, especially involving high-profile players. But lately that has changed. Just last year stars like Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper were dealt, and those moves impacted their teams immediately.
Although the new league year is still about a month away (March 13), there have already been some moves discussed around the league. One big trade involved Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco being sent to Denver in a move that can't be finalized until the new league starts.
The latest rumors center around a pair of wide receivers who would draw interest from any team in the league – Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. Both would qualify as No. 1 receivers on virtually any NFL roster, and both seem to have fallen out of favor in their respective towns.
Brown's case is more clear as he and Pittsburgh have been at odds for quite some time. Brown recently repeated his desire to be dealt, and the Steelers seem intent on granting that wish. In New York, Beckham has been prone to emotional outbursts and some reports indicate the Giants may finally be ready to rid themselves of the high-maintenance headache.
So, with the Patriots coming off their sixth Super Bowl title, what better time to speculate on the rich getting richer? While it's likely a longshot, could New England be in the market for one of these dynamic wideouts? Simply put, this week's Samsonite Make Your Case question – Which high-profile wide receiver should the Patriots target, Brown or Beckham?
PFW's Andy Hart says ...
Brown has been by far the more consistently productive player of the two, and with Tom Brady throwing the ball to him he could reach even greater heights. Brown has the ability to run the entire route tree and has shown the ability to make catches in all areas of the field and will fight for the contested ball in traffic.
The Patriots offense was a bit limited at times last year and that was due to a lack of weapons on the outside. Even when the running game was going, the inability of the Patriots receivers to consistently separate held Brady and the offense back. Brown would change all that.
No receiver has been more productive than Brown, who is working on a streak of six consecutive 100-catch seasons. He also has a career-high 15 touchdowns in 2018. Bring him in next to Julian Edelman and the running game and watch the offense soar.
PFW's Paul Perillo says ...
ODELL BECKHAM JR.
I've seen what everyone else has seen when it comes to Odell Beckham, but I have a different view of things than most. The immaturity is certainly an issue at times, but I believe it's borne out of frustration over losing. I don't feel that would be a problem in New England.
Beckham is four years younger than Brown at 26, and he's almost as productive despite playing in New York with Eli Manning clearly on the decline. Despite that he still has been among the best in the game with 44 touchdown receptions in his five seasons, which is really four since he was limited to just four games in 2017 due to injury.
Anyone who has watched Beckham play would never questions his work ethic. He plays hard all the time, and with Tom Brady running the show his potential with the Patriots would be limitless. The Giants would probably like to deal him out of the conference. Why not to New England?
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.