The New England Patriots’ offense started the season slowly but has since grown into one of the NFL’s best offenses. The unit has scored more than 38 points in all of its last four games and besides some short-term injury questions at running back and tight end does not appear to have plenty of holes. That being said, the team is reportedly still trying to improve its depth and quality.
Surprisingly, however, the Patriots are trying to upgrade at the wide receiver position. According to FOX’s Jay Glazer, New England is targeting a “bona fide” wide receiver:
“The New England Patriots they are trying to go after a bona fide, premium wide receiver,” Glazer said on FOX NFL Sunday. “[They are] offering up high draft choices for them.”
This report comes as a slight surprise considering that New England appears to be rather deep at wide receiver. The team’s top two – Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon – have performed well since (re)joining the team. Meanwhile the depth player behind the duo – Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson – has had its moments in specialized roles. Despite that, the Patriots are still looking to improve the position.
Who could be on their radar? Glazer names two wide receivers who appear to be on the trade block: the San Francisco 49ers’ Pierre Garçon and the Denver Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas . Both come at a notable price hit – both would cost around $4.8 million of salary cap space – but would be under the team’s control until after the 2021 and 2019 seasons, respectively. New England currently has $5.26 million available.
Other candidates not mentioned by Glazer include the Detroit Lions’ Golden Tate, the Broncos’ Emmanuel Sanders, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ DeSean Jackson – all players on teams who might try to get younger at the receiver position. Tate in particular is an interesting target: in late August, ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss first mentioned the idea of the Patriots trading for the 30-year old, an idea later also mentioned by ex-Patriots staffer Mike Lombardi.
The Miami Dolphins’ DeVante Parker, a player reportedly on his way out, could be another trade target, but one that appears more unlikely than the other players above. Speaking of unlikely: Larry Fitzgerald, a popular target among Patriots fans, will also not find his way to Foxboro.
[UPDATE] NFL Network’s Mike Giardi also mentions that Thomas is one player to watch on the trade front the next two days. The 30-year old was originally drafted by Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels:
Multiple league sources confirm the #Patriots have been active on the trade front for weeks. That’s not abnormal for them. One name that’s been discussed is #Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas. Thomas was drafted by Pats OC Josh McDaniels when he was HC at Denver.— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) October 28, 2018