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NFL trade deadline: History suggests anything is possible with the Patriots

Patriots trade deadline tracker: News, rumors, moves, instant analysis

New England Patriots v New York Jets Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The NFL’s 2022 trading window will come to an end on Tuesday afternoon. The deadline to make moves has been set at 4 p.m. ET, and if history is any indication the New England Patriots might very well be among the clubs making at least one move.

Since Bill Belichick arrived in his dual role as head coach and general manager, after all, the club has been among the most active in the league when it comes to swinging trades — including several that have been made at the final opportunity. While not all of them have worked out, it is clear that the Patriots are not afraid of pulling the trigger one way or another.

With this year’s trade deadline approaching fast, let’s therefore take a look back at the trades swung by the Belichick-led team over the last 10 years. Some have worked out well, while other ended in disappointment.

(Disclaimer: only trades within one week of the deadline are considered)

Nov. 1, 2012: Acquired CB Aqib Talib from Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Patriots sent a fourth-round draft choice to the Buccaneers to bring Talib and a seventh-round pick in. The move worked out well for both clubs, with New England acquiring an All-Pro-caliber cornerback and Tampa Bay getting a draft choice that later turned into standout defensive lineman William Gholston.

Oct. 29, 2013: Acquired DT Isaac Sopoaga from Philadelphia Eagles. The Patriots needed to bolster their defensive line after losing Vince Wilfork to a season-ending injury, and they targeted Sopoaga to do so. New England sent a fifth-round pick to Philadelphia to bring him and a sixth-round selection on board. Sopoaga appeared in six games in 2013 but was released the following March.

Oct. 25, 2016: Sent TE A.J. Derby to Denver Broncos. The Patriots picked up a 2017 fifth-round draft pick when they sent Derby — their TE3 behind Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett — to Denver. That fifth-rounder was later repurposed to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee away from Buffalo.

Oct. 25, 2016: Acquired LB Kyle Van Noy from Detroit Lions. Arguably one of the better trades in Patriots history, New England sent a sixth-round pick to Detroit for Van Noy and a seventh-rounder — an eventual drop of just 24 spots on the third day of the draft. The linebacker himself turned into a difference-maker for the Patriots and helped them win two Super Bowls.

Oct. 31, 2016: Sent LB Jamie Collins to Cleveland Browns. With one linebacker brought in, another was shipped off ahead of the 2016 deadline. In a surprising move, the Patriots sent Jamie Collins to Cleveland for a third-round pick the following year. Collins did find his way back to New England on three more occasions, and currently resides on the team’s practice squad. As for the pick acquired, it was later used in a trade-up to draft Antonio Garcia. The offensive tackle never appeared in an NFL game.

Oct. 31, 2017: Sent QB Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco 49ers. Garoppolo was drafted to potentially become Tom Brady’s heir, but he instead turned into a valuable trade commodity when it became clear Brady would not be slowing down anytime soon. San Francisco therefore was able to acquire him for a 2018 second-round pick — a selection that was turned into nine different players, including current Patriots Damien Harris and Yodny Cajuste.

Oct. 22, 2019: Acquired WR Mohamed Sanu from Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots were in dire need of wide receiver help in 2019, and it prompted them to send a second-round pick to the Falcons for Mohamed Sanu. While he showed some promise, an injury suffered in his second game changed his trajectory. Sanu was released the following spring, after finishing his tenure in New England with just 27 catches for 218 and a touchdown.

Oct. 24, 2019: Sent DE Michael Bennett to Dallas Cowboys. Just seven months after the Patriots acquired him via trade, Bennett was sent to Dallas in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick. The pick coming back was later involved in a multi-asset move that saw Marcus Cannon be traded to Houston. Cannon, of course, has since returned to New England.

Nov. 3, 2020: Acquired WR Isaiah Ford from Miami Dolphins. The least consequential trade on this list took place in 2020. Ford was acquired for what later turned into the 242nd pick of the 2022 draft. He never appeared in a game for New England and was waived one month later.

As can be seen, the Patriots have made at least one trade in six of the last 10 years and only once over that same span have refrained from making a move in back-to-back seasons. So, where will this year end up?

Obviously, those transactions above have no impact on the current team and its decision-making process; the Patriots evaluate on a case-to-case basis. That said, it is no secret that they are exploring all avenues when it comes to adding talent to their roster and trading is no exception. The list above is an illustration of that, as are the recent moves made by the club.

The Patriots, after all, have already swung several trades since this year’s window opened in mid-March. A total of six moves have been made, involving seven players — including the acquisitions of wide receiver DeVante Parker and linebacker Mack Wilson.

What all of this tells us is pretty clear: anything is possible.