The New England Patriots are actively looking for a trade partner to bolster the team's wide receiver position, per NESN's Doug Kyed. The current roster is seemingly one dimensional in its make-up.
One could easily argue that Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Chris Harper all represent a similar inside-outside flex player who could line up in the slot on one snap, and then somewhere entirely different on the next. These are valuable players. But Aaron Dobson remains the only player who offers great size on the outside and who can operate as an every-down sideline threat.
While the Patriots are looking for a trade to add to the position, the roster cuts have left a handful of potential candidates scattered in the wind. Here's a quick list:
Kenbrell Thompkins: The 6'1, 200 lbs receiver has experience in the Patriots offense.
James Jones: The Giants just released the 6'1, 210 lbs receiver; Jones is a quality #3 option.
Hakeem Nicks: The former Giants first round pick and Colts receiver needs a rebound.
Tommy Streeter: The 6'5, 220 bs journeyman runs a 4.4 forty yard dash and a sub 7-second three cone.
Dezmin Lewis: The Patriots have kicked the tires on the 6'4, 215-lbs rookie.
Andre Davis: The 6'1, 200 lbs rookie has some polish in his route work.
Vince Mayle: The 6'2, 225 lbs 4th round pick by the Browns was the earliest draftee cut.
Jared Abbrederis: The former Packer has battled ACL and concussion issues, but he's a 6'1, 200 lbs force on the outside.
Erik Lora: He's only 5'10, 205 lbs, but he was Jimmy Garoppolo's go-to target and smashed all sorts of records.
Outside of these free agents, there are some potential trade targets to keep in mind. Remember that the Patriots probably won't be on the market for a #1 type receiver due to cap restrictions and the inevitable return of Brandon LaFell.
Instead, they're likely looking for players who can act as spot-starter on the outside, and act as a target behind Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Scott Chandler. So while a move for the Cardinals' Michael Floyd or Larry Fitzgerald, or the Buccaneers' Vincent Jackson is enticing, it's also unlikely at this point in time.
Here are some possible candidates:
Bengals: Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, or Greg Little - All three have various skill sets and pedigrees, with Little the least valuable of the three. It's hard to see all three having an impact behind A.J. Green on this offense.
Browns: Dwayne Bowe or Brian Hartline - The Patriots have been connected with both and the Browns have a surprising number of #2 or #3 targets on their roster.
Raiders: Andre Holmes or Rod Streater - Holmes is a former Patriot, but both look to be behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree on the Oakland offense.
Rams: Brian Quick or Kenny Britt - Both players have never lived up to their potential, but they could offer value on the outside and compete with Aaron Dobson.
Belichick will be working the phones to ensure the Patriots have their best 53-man roster to start the season, but always remember that the week 1 roster will never be the same as the week 17 roster.