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2017 NFL trade deadline rumor tracker: Patriots trade Jimmy Garoppolo, team makes no other moves despite rumors

The Patriots are often active at the deadline.

Carolina Panthers v New England Patriots


BREAKING: The Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers! All details here.

The NFL trade deadline ends on Tuesday, October 31st at 4:00 PM ET and the New England Patriots have been busy partners over the past five years, acquiring key players like CB Aqib Talib, EDGE Akeem Ayers, and LB Kyle Van Noy to help bolster the roster.

Last week, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained the type of player that the team looks to acquire in the middle of the season: Affordable players with a defined role that represent a clear improvement over the current roster.

On Monday morning, Belichick spoke at greater length at how the team looks for such players during the year.

“I think there are some teams that most teams aren’t going to be involved with, you know, probably their direct competitors in this type of a situation,” Belichick said. “Not saying it can’t happen, I just would say that’s a little more unusual. I mean, beyond that, some teams you have more conversations in the league with them than others, but in the end, I’m sure personnel departments in the league are doing the same thing. You look at your roster, you look at the players who are not on your roster – whether they’re on your practice squad or whether they’re on some other team’s practice squad or whether they’re not on anybody’s team – and you put together a list of players that, if you had a need arise, would be the group of players that you go to.

“And, in conjunction with that, you look at the rosters of the other 31 teams in the league, and based on what you know, other information that you gather, the inactive list every week and the play time, you can start to see which players have a diminished role in another team’s system, for whatever those reasons are.

“And, a lot of times if a team has a need in an area and they match that up with another team who’s not making a player active that the team with the depth issue feels like that player could give them depth, well then that’s a potential conversation. It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, but that’s a potential conversation.

“So, for example in the [Akeem] Ayers trade with Tennessee a couple of years ago, Akeem wasn’t getting much playing time down there, was inactive for – I forget however many games it was, but it was for a couple games – and when we inquired about him or they mentioned it to us, however it went – I mean, look, if you’re making a player inactive every week and you can gain something in return on a trade, then maybe there’s something to talk about there. I don’t know. So, again, every situation is different, every team is different, every player’s situation is different.

“I mean, there’s no go to the book on trades. OK, chapter one, here’s how it goes. It just doesn’t really work that way. It’s a very fluid situation. Things can change literally in a period of minutes, and I mean, that’s the world we live in, and there are a lot of things in that situation that are out of our control, out of any team’s control. I mean, anytime you’re trying to exchange players, you have to find somebody else that you can find the right or fair exchange with that both teams feel is fair so that they’ll do it. So, that’s, I would say, in this business, not the easiest thing to do.

“There’s a lot of learning and communication and system pick up or familiarity that plays into the whole player exchange, so in a way, the player that you have that knows the system, knows what he’s doing, knows everything that he needs to do in your system has a good value to you. That’s what you put all the time and training into. So, if you get another player that doesn’t have that, there’s got to be enough to offset it or enough of a need to go through that.

“So, each one’s different. I wouldn’t try to read too much into any of it. I think trying to predict what’s going to happen this time of year is – I don’t have any idea. I’m sure a lot of the other experts out there do, but I don’t. So, you just take it as it comes. If it makes sense and it works, then great. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

TL;DR? Belichick looks for players that are being underutilized by their team that could become immediate impact players for the Patriots and provide relatively immediate value over and above the player they will be replacing on the roster.

And based on this information, we can look at players that have been named inactive or seen their role reduced by their respective team at various positions of need for the Patriots (defensive front seven, tight end). That can include the Saints EDGE Hau’oli Kikaha, Chargers EDGE Jeremiah Attaochu, Lions TE Eric Ebron, and others.

The deadline is fast approaching. Let’s see if anything happens.