It is not good in Foxborough for the first time in at least two decades. The New England Patriots are 2-4 and coming off of a 33-6 beating at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. If this team is going to turn it around, they need to improve at the trade deadline and AJ Green could be a target.
The defense is not playing up to standards this season. On the other side of the ball, it is the same issues as 2019. The Patriots lack options at the skill positions and that has been clear for two years now. They have no capable tight end on the roster and their receiving corps is underwhelming. It does not help that Cam Newton looks like a disaster throwing the football.
At the trade deadline, there will be many receivers available and New England could use one.
Green is one that immediately comes to mind. The veteran receiver has dealt with injury problems in Cincinnati over the last couple years, but he still has some left in the tank. It will just not be used as a Bengal. Cincinnati is in a rebuilding phase, so it would benefit them to try and get what they can for their former No. 1 receiver.
This could be a typical Bill Belichick move to try and get his team back on track. Here are three reasons why Green would fit in well with the Patriots.
3. Low Risk, High Reward
There are some out there that do not want Green because he is playing for $18 million this season and has just 14 catches on 34 targets. There are also concerns of injuries over the last few years. With all things considered, Green could still be a high reward move that would not cost much.
This is a chance to use Green’s injuries as leverage. Also, the Bengals are in a position where they could look to dump the salary and get something in return for Green, who would be a free agent next year anyway. This would be an audition for New England.
They could wait to sign him in free agency in 2021. That option will still be there if they make this trade. If they make a deal and he is not productive, then you let him walk and do not have to bother in free agency.
AJ Green’s days in Cincinnati seem to be numbered. If the Bengals are smart, they will be looking long and hard for trading partners. New England could be one that makes sense because of the potential return they get.
2. Red Zone Threat
The Patriots have not had a red zone threat since the days of Rob Gronkowski. This season, it is as obvious as ever. The Patriots have just three passing touchdowns in six games this season.
Newton is being used as a runner near the goal line because they do not have a receiver to throw to.
That is an alarming stat. They are throwing a passing touchdown every other game. Of the three, two have gone to running backs.
N’Keal Harry is the only wide receiver to catch a touchdown this season. Rex Burkhead and fullback Jakob Johnson each have one. It is not easy to score points and win games like that. Green could help right away. He is a big target all over the field, but especially in the red zone.
Green was one of the best receivers in the league for years. He is a physical receiver with great athleticism and that has not changed. Newton would finally have a weapon to throw the ball to when the team got in scoring position.
1. Fills A Need
There is nothing else to say but that this move would fill a need. The Patriots have needed help on the outside for years and this would give them a short-term answer. It is unknown if they will actually go get AJ Green, but it would improve the offense.
This team cannot be happy at 2-4 after dominating the league for much of the 21st century. New England currently has two players with 200 or more receiving yards. Julian Edelman leads the way with 315 yards and Damiere Byrd is second with 233. That is not a winning formula.
New England is averaging 197.2 passing yards per game. They are at the bottom of the league with the likes of the two New York teams, Washington, and the Denver Broncos.
There are many teams out there that could use a wide receiver. The deadline should be interesting to see which teams actually pull the trigger. New England should be one for sure.