The 2017 trade deadline came and went and the New England Patriots did not make any moves except the one that has already been reported yesterday: trading backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second round selection in the 2018 NFL draft. This means, that the team did not re-invest the pick but instead opted to stay put with its current draft capital and roster.
Despite speculation that the team would flip its newly obtained second round selection for a defensive player, the Patriots will now head into the second half of the season with the same players they had available in the first half. Of course, the unit will not look exactly the same as linebacker Dont'a Hightower will be placed on injured reserve and see his roster spot filled by Shea McClellin returning off the list.
The Patriots, as has also been speculated yesterday, did also not move on from cornerback Malcolm Butler. Instead, the 27-year old will play out his year under the first round tender he signed in March and as part of a defense that has shown considerable progress over the last four weeks. There was no reported trade interest in Butler – there was some in another Patriot.
According to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe, the Patriots “made and received” calls on offensive tackle Cameron Fleming, who entered the NFL the same year as Jimmy Garoppolo. However, nothing materialized and the depth lineman will remain with in New England for the time being – on a team that now has one open roster spot after all the moves have been reported by the NFL's transaction wire.
Given the current state of the roster, this open spot will be highly likely filled by a backup quarterback. Former 49ers starter Brian Hoyer, who was released in the aftermath of the Garoppolo-trade, is the favorite to do that and return to the team on which he started his NFL career back in 2009.
While New England was quiet today after a busy Monday, other teams did make trades: The Miami Dolphins have traded running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth round selection, while the Buffalo Bills acquired wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. The team, which is in the playoff hunt, is sending a third and a seventh round pick to the Carolina Panthers for the former first round draft pick.