The New England Patriots pass rush has been weak this preseason due to all of the roster changes. Rob Ninkovich retired. Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard left in free agency. Rookies Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise have been dealing with injuries. Trey Flowers hasn’t suited up. Even hybrid linebackers like Dont’a Hightower and Shea McClellin haven’t been playing.
There is simply not enough healthy talent at the position.
But despite this apparent weakness on the roster, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has stated that he is not looking to add another pass rusher to the roster. We’re not Belichick, though, and our friends over at our New York Giants site Big Blue View think one of their pass rushers might be available for a trade- and I think he’d be an awesome fit.
BBV’s Chris Pflum writes that former 2015 third round selection Owamagbe Odighizuwa could be available for pennies and that’s why I’m interested.
“Odighizuwa has missed time with injuries of his own and has yet to produce anything like a third round pick, but unlike our other potential trade targets, is a bona fide athletic freak,” Pflum explains. “Odighizuwa is also young and still has two years left on his rookie contract...In light of the injury to rookie Derek Rivers, and their plan for the 2017 off-season, the New England Patriots might be another potential trade partner. The Patriots have been bold about trading for players this year, and Belichick has a long history of getting production out of players who have floundered on other teams. Likewise, Odighizuwa’s athletic ability and experience in both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses might appeal to Belichick.”
There’s a lot to break down here. Odighizuwa matriculated from UCLA where he was a part of their hybrid 3-4 defensive front, which could make a transition to New England a little more seamless. At 6’3, 267 pounds, he meets all of the team’s athletic requirements for the position, too.
Odighizuwa was regarded as one of the top edge defender prospects, but concerns about his hip surgeries in 2013 and his one year as a starter dropped him down the board.
Those injury concerns were realized in 2015 when he missed the majority of the season with foot and hamstring injuries; he spent a portion of the year on the short-term injured reserve. In 2016, Odighizuwa rarely played as he was stuck behind Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul in the depth chart, along with rookie Romeo Okwara.
With the Giants 2017 fifth round addition of EDGE Avery Moss, there might not be space on the roster for Odighizuwa anymore. Add in the weird series of tweets in April, where he expresses a need “to get away from the game,” and it would make sense for the Giants to move on.
So why should the Patriots be interested?
Well, Odighizuwa has two more years remaining on his rookie deal, so he’s firmly in the “reclamation project” category. Also, the price to trade for Odighizuwa should be negligible and the Patriots could use another camp body.
“Likely the base price for Owa would just be a seventh-round pick,” Pflum writes. “He has significant athletic upside, but he hasn’t come close to living up to his potential — or even making it through a season healthy — yet. But with his youth and upside in mind, it might be possible that the pick could be a conditional one and might grow to something like a fifth rounder if Owa not only makes the team but plays a certain percentage of defensive snaps.”
Remember that back in 2015, the Patriots were extremely short-handed at wide receiver heading into the final preseason game and sent a conditional 2018 seventh round draft pick to the New Orleans Saints for WR Jalen Saunders. Saunders was a body for the game, the team released him in the final cuts, and the Patriots will likely not have to send a draft pick to the Saints.
The Saints knew they weren’t going to keep Saunders, so why not see if they could make a seventh round pick out of the roster move?
The Patriots and Giants could engage in a similar negotiation with the following terms.
- Patriots give Giants a conditional 2019 seventh round pick for EDGE Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
- IF Odighizuwa does not make the Patriots opening 53-man roster in 2017, the Patriots do not give the Giants anything.
- IF Odighizuwa makes the Patriots opening 53-man roster in 2017, the Patriots will give the Giants their 2019 seventh round pick.
- IF Odighizuwa plays 25% of the Patriots defensive snaps in either 2017 or 2018, the Patriots will give the Giants their 2019 sixth round pick.
- IF Odighizuwa plays 50% of the Patriots defensive snaps in either 2017 or 2018, the Patriots will give the Giants their 2019 fifth round pick.
These terms fall in line with both the Saunders trade and the Eric Rowe trade that has playing time escalators. If the Giants are going to move on from Odighizuwa this season, then they might as well try to maximize their return.
Would you make this trade?
Would you trade for Owamagbe Odighizuwa?
This poll is closed