The Patriots were never going to trade for offensive tackle Joe Thomas or wide receiver Calvin Johnson. If Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio were going to pull some strings, they would have found a player on an expiring, or nearly expiring, contract that offered a marginal improvement over what the team has on the roster.
We have no way of knowing whether or not players were available. However, if the player isn't considered a franchise player, there is a very high chance that teams would have been willing to trade for the right price.
These are five trades that I would have made if I were in charge.
5. Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry
Philadelphia was actively shopping the 6'3, 275 lbs 27-year old end player. He's a misfit in the 3-4 front, but he posted nine sacks last season. He would have been a typical reclamation project for the Patriots and a definite step up from the rookies Geneo Grissom and Trey Flowers. It's likely the fact the Eagles are on the schedule that helped hamper the trade, but I'm more surprised that Curry didn't move at all. His snaps have decreased in each of the past four games.
4. Buccaneers cornerback Alterraun Verner
Some might say that Verner wouldn't fit in the defense, but I disagree. The coaching staff has done a brilliant job ensuring that Logan Ryan is in a position to succeed and Verner offers a higher level of ability with the same flexibility. He's dropped because he's not a great fit for the Lovie Smith Tampa 2 defense, but he's succeeded in both man and zone while with the Titans.
3. Texans tackle Chris Clark
Clark is a great swing tackle with starting experience on both sides of the line. He's 30 years old and a free agent after this season. Houston isn't going anywhere this year, but they have the Patriots on the schedule AND with a bye in week 9, they could actually lead the AFC South with a 3-5 record (once the Broncos dismantle the Colts). Clark likely wouldn't have been too expensive and he would have been a major step up over Cameron Fleming.
2. Titans cornerback Jason McCourty
Yes, this should have happened. The Titans can say that they weren't fielding offers, but multiple Patriots sources have said they were in active communication. It just didn't work out. Maybe the Patriots will go after McCourty this offseason, but they should totally try to get him in house. Tennessee fired their head coach and that probably didn't help things, but players want to get the heck out of there.
1. Browns defensive end Barkevious Mingo
Mingo is a former 6th overall pick that has been absolutely misused by the Browns. He's a 4-3 defensive end. They're using him as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Jabaal Sheard was misused by the Browns and now he's flourishing in New England. Mingo is a good special teams player for the time being and could be an absolute stud in a better situation.
Cleveland wanted a 3rd round pick and since the Patriots are getting a compensatory 3rd for Darrelle Revis, I'm kind of surprised this didn't happen. Midround picks are like candy for Belichick and he'll wind up with seven picks in the 4th round next year. The different in value isn't great enough to put an ax in a trade discussion.
Ultimately, the Patriots made some pre-deadline trades with the acquisition of wide receiver Keshawn Martin, linebacker Jonathan Bostic, and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. Tight end Michael Williams was the result of a trade, too. All four players have made key contributions to this team.
What are some trades that you wished the Patriots made yesterday?