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How the Patriots can fix their wide receiver issues, according to Pro Football Focus

New England needs help at the position.

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AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The wide receiver position is one of the New England Patriots’ biggest needs, and the question is how the team will be able to address it — especially given that Jerry Jeudy is apparently not available, and that DeAndre Hopkins’ asking price might be too high for the team’s liking. So, what else can be done?

According to Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson, a trade is the solution. The target, however, is not one of the players mentioned above.


Fix: Trade for Tee Higgins

I believe the Bengals when they say they have no intention of trading away Tee Higgins, but everybody has a price, and the Bengals have a lot of financial juggling to do over the next couple of seasons as they try to pay market-leading money to quarterback Joe Burrow and receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

Any potential plan to give comparable money to Higgins would create a salary cap nightmare, and if they plan to simply keep Higgins around for as long as they can without committing long-term money to him, they would be wise to listen to alternative offers.

Either way, everybody has a price, and the Patriots would be wise to test their resolve with a trade offer that features the No. 14 pick of the draft. Higgins showed last season he could be a true No. 1 receiver when Chase wasn’t playing and caught 56.7% of his contested targets overall. Higgins is one of the few players who would immediately transform the outlook of this offense.

The Patriots giving up No. 14 in the draft would be a steep price, but if the club sees Higgins as better long-term value than any player available at that point it would make sense. That said, given that Higgins is entering a contract year the cost associated with such a trade would also include a likely contract extension — or else New England might be paying a steep price for a one-year rental.