The New England Patriots are a team that always likes a good bargain. They search high and low for players that other teams have overlooked or that they can get on an affordable contract to churn out production way above value. One player to keep an eye on could be Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell.
One way of achieving that is by acquiring players who had the options on their rookie deals declined. Following the NFL Draft, teams have to decide if they want to exercise the fifth-year options on players that were selected in the first round of the draft three years earlier.
This year, that would be the 2019 NFL Draft, which has already produced eight Pro Bowlers. Stars such as Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen (the pass rusher) and Devin White all went in the first round. But, for every star, some players don’t pan out.
The Patriots had that occur, as they used the No. 32 overall pick on N’Keal Harry out of Arizona State. Things have not panned out, as he is a potential cut or trade candidate this offseason as he continues falling down the depth chart.
New England declined his fifth-year option, which wasn’t much of a surprise. There could be a team around the league that will take a chance acquiring him now that the Patriots have signaled that they do not intend to keep him long-term.
Could the Patriot find value in that around the league as well? One player that has been mentioned as a potential trade target is Clelin Ferrell of the Las Vegas Raiders. Las Vegas shocked everyone when they picked Ferrell fourth overall, as he was projected to go into the first round but not close to No. 4.
The draft analysts that said it wouldn’t work out were correct. He has not lived up to expectations, recording eight sacks in three seasons. While he does some solid work setting the edge, that is underwhelming for a player selected that high. Luckily the pick is made more palatable because Las Vegas hit on Maxx Crosby in the fourth round.
New England could use him as a depth piece, but his salary could present a challenge in making a deal. He is owed $4.77 million in salary, which is a lot of money for someone that would likely be a fourth or fifth option at defensive end.
If that number can be negotiated down, there could be a deal made. The Raiders are now being run by former members of the Patriots’ organization as well, so the two organizations have familiarity with each other to help get a deal done.