The New England Patriots are in unfamiliar territory through five games. They are currently 2-3 and in third place in the AFC East. This is something that must not sit well with Bill Belichick, which means we could see some new faces in Foxborough come the trade deadline.
There is no doubt that the Patriots are in need of skill position players. This was a problem during the 2019 season and it caused an early exit from the postseason. Heading into 2020, New England planned to feature some young options, but they will need to improve if they want to make a run at the division.
The good thing is that all players are healthy. Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19, but was on the field during the team’s 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 6. Moving forward, they will have to remain healthy and on the field.
As we creep closer to the NFL trade deadline, there are plenty of rumors going around. Players are requesting trades and there will be plenty of sellers at the deadline. The Patriots could look to be buyers, especially on the outside.
Here are four options, mainly wide receivers, that New England could target.
4. Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit Lions
It is time that Jones gets out of Detroit and this is his chance. The 30-year-old wide receiver has spent the last five years in a Lions’ uniform. This season will likely be his last, as he is a free agent following the season.
It would make sense for the Lions to trade Jones rather than letting him walk in free agency. Jones is an excellent receiver. He caught nine touchdowns last season and did most of his work without Matthew Stafford.
This is a situation where Jones could get the Lions a nice return and play for a contender in his own right.
Jones is an impact player on the outside. That is something that the Patriots have lacked outside of Julian Edelman. Here is a chance to add a receiver who could find new energy playing for a different team.
3. Kenny Stills, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are officially in a bit of a rebuild. At 1-5, this season has gotten away from them. They have fired Bill O’Brien, which means the team will need a new head coach and general manager for the 2021 season.
Even after trading DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans have depth at receiver and they could use that to their advantage.
Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks have come up in rumors, but it would not make sense for the Texans to trade their top two pass catchers, especially after sending Hopkins to Arizona. That leaves Stills as an option. He is currently the third receiver for Houston and one that has made some rounds during his career. Stills is a deep ball threat who could stretch the field in New England.
All three wide receivers have come up in trade talks and it is not impossible for any of the three to be moved. Who knows with the Texans. Fuller should be safe. Cooks is a bit less safe and Stills is in danger. These two teams could make a deal if one comes up.
2. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns and Njoku are not on the same page this season. They signed Austin Hooper in free agency and added Harrison Bryant in the draft. That has caused Njoku to ask for a trade and he might get his wish.
If the Browns decide to move the athletic tight end, the Patriots would be a nice fit. New England has major problems at the tight end position. This is not something we have said for a long time since Rob Gronkowski was present.
Ryan Izzo has six catches for 82 yards this season and has only been targeted 11 times. The Patriots used two third-round picks on Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene. Neither have a catch this season.
If they have the personnel, the Patriots are a team that likes to use their tight ends. Right now, they do not have the personnel, but Njoku could fix all of that.
1. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
This just seems like a Belichick move. It is clear that Green is unhappy in Cincinnati and at 32 years old, he is not part of their rebuild. There have been ongoing rumors of Green being traded that have dated back to last season.
The Bengals are moving forward with Joe Burrow as their franchise quarterback. They need to start their rebuild as soon as possible. Green is coming off a game where he finished with eight catches for 96 yards.
He still has the ability to produce, but is not one of the best receivers in the league like he was when he first burst onto the scene. Green missed the 2019 season with an injury and at his age, the Bengals will not get a huge return, but it is better than nothing.
The Patriots would like a big receiver like Green in the red zone. He is a matchup problem that Belichick could use all over the field. This is a move that makes sense for both teams moving forward.
Green will likely be moved somewhere, so now it is just waiting and seeing what happens.