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NFL trade rumors: Patriots reportedly inquired about Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson

Related: Patriots free agency preview: New England has some options to upgrade at wide receiver

Carolina Panthers v New York Giants Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The New England Patriots need to improve their wide receiver position, and they reportedly will explore all avenues to do that. One of those is the trade market, and the team has already made at least one call: according to a report by The Athletic’s Joe Person, the Patriots inquired about Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson.

As the report states, the conversation was “exploratory” and nothing appears to be imminent at this point in time. Nonetheless, it shows that New England will leave no stone unturned when it comes to its roster construction this offseason.

Anderson would be an intriguing addition, though. Despite having spent the first four years of his career with the New York Jets and the last two as a member of the similarly lowly Panthers, he caught 355 passes for 4,674 yards and 22 touchdowns in 95 games. The 28-year-old is a legitimate deep threat, who was able to showcase his talents even though he had to play with some sub-par quarterbacks.

Adding Anderson to the Patriots offense would improve the group’s overall speed and address a definitive need. After all, the 6-foot-3 receiver is capable of both challenging defenses over the top and of making plays when aligned on the outside of the formation.

There is a catch, however. Anderson’s salary cap hit for his new team would be $13 million in 2022, with $8 million of his salary fully guaranteed. The Patriots, however, currently have only $4.9 million available to work with.

There are ways to add to that number, but one has to wonder how realistic trading for Anderson really is. Nonetheless, the Patriots do seem to hold him in high regard.

“Last year when I was in free agency, when [Bill Belichick] tried to get me to sign there, he was like ‘I’m tired of scheming against you. I’m tired of going against you,’” Anderson said about the Patriots ahead of a 2021 regular season meeting between New England and Carolina.

Anderson caught just one 2-yard pass that day. He finished the 2021 season with 53 catches for 519 yards and five scores.