While the New England Patriots lead the NFL in victories eight weeks into the regular season after winning all of their games so far, they find themselves near the bottom of the league in terms of salary cap space: the reigning world champions entered the day of the trade deadline with $2.4 million available, according to the Boston Sports Journals’ Miguel Benzan, a comparatively low number at this point in time.
As a result of their salary cap situation, the Patriots are limited in their options with the trade deadline coming up at 4:00 pm — something that head coach Bill Belichick acknowledged during a media conference call on Tuesday morning (via the Boston Globe’s Nora Princiotti): “We wouldn’t have enough cap space right now to just go out and acquire any player [...] There are some players we just wouldn’t be able to do that with.”
Belichick also went on to say that if a contract was going to be altered by a player’s existing team to make him a more attractive commodity on the trade market, such a move already had to happen to become official before the deadline. If the Patriots, for example, were to acquire Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams they would have to release a player before making the trade in order to create the cap space needed to fit him in.
Even though $2.3 million still gives New England some wiggle room to operate with the trade window closing, Belichick pointed out that the team would also need to keep some potential future expenses in mind with the season only eight weeks old. This does, of course, not rule out a trade being made within the next four hours but it certainly shows that a major acquisition will likely not be on the menu for the Patriots.