The NFL’s 2019 trade deadline is still four days away, but the New England Patriots have already been among the most active players on the market. Just hours after the team’s 33-0 victory against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, the team’s first move was reported and a day later confirmed: the undefeated world champions had sent a second-round draft pick to the Atlanta Falcons for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
Sanu adds experience and depth to a Patriots wide receiver position that has seen considerable personnel turnover going back all the way to the offseason, and just on Wednesday lost Josh Gordon when he was placed on injured reserve. The 30-year-old, who also brings positional versatility and a reliable set of hands to the table, is expected to play a big role within New England’s offense alongside Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett.
Trading for Sanu was not the only move the Patriots made so far this week. On Thursday, the team also sent defensive lineman Michael Bennett to the Dallas Cowboys in return for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2021. Bennett was just coming off a one-week suspension for “conduct detrimental to the team” and has never quite been able to adapt to the new-look 3-4-based defense New England installed after acquiring him this offseason.
While some aspects of the moves — the Patriots investing a second-rounder in Sanu, New England finding a trade partner for Bennett — are somewhat surprising, the team’s overall activity is not. After all, Bill Belichick and company have always been quite active on the trade market and never shied away from investing resources or moving on from players if they feel like the roster as a whole improves because of the transactions.
The results of SB Nation’s latest FanPulse survey therefore hardly come as a surprise. Patriots fans participating were asked whether or not they thought the team would make a move ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline on October 29. The survey was sent out on Monday, ahead of the team’s game in New York and the subsequent acquisition of Mohamed Sanu the next morning, and the results speak for themselves.
88% of participants answered the question with “yes,” while only 12% did not think that New England would be among those participating in at least one trade this year. Four days later, we now know that the team did indeed pull the trigger twice — and there is still plenty of time for the club to make another trade, although the limited salary cap space of currently $2.8 million might be a problem when it comes to bringing in high-priced options.
If you too are interested in participating in our FanPulse survey, please click here!