New England Patriots need to use NFL Trade Deadline to strengthen team

CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 16: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 16: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

Though still in last place, the New England Patriots have gotten right back in the race for an AFC playoff spot (Wild Card probably at best) by winning their last two games under precocious rookie quarterback, Bailey Zappe. So, with the November 1 NFL Trade Deadline looming, what should the Patriots do?

Well, they could do any number of things, First, they can stand pat and delude themselves into thinking everything is wonderful in Foxborough, they don’t need any additions, and things will be just fine. That thought process is for losers.

Second, they could think, well, let’s just tinker at the margins and maybe bring in a slightly better player than what we have at one or two positions and roll with that.

Third (the best alternative) is that the team goes all-in and seeks to enhance the team in a real attempt to be a difference-maker in the AFC East. Let’s explore this.

The New England Patriots trade deadline activity may determine their season

The New England Patriots have experienced a renaissance with Bailey Zappe in control of the offense. Stats aren’t the forte here, but suffice it to say, he’s taken the team to a better place than Mac Jones. And note, Mac is a favorite here.

Zappe should start until he falters. Maybe just maybe, he won’t. He is what he is at the moment – a winner. Roll with him.

An old saying says it’s better to be lucky than good. Yeah, maybe. But can Bill Belichick get that lucky twice in 22 years? That would be first with a sixth-round pick, and now with a fourth-rounder? ‘Ya know what, he may be just that lucky.

New England Patriots should go all in on

Should Zappe keep his starting position and keep winning, (for the sake of argument this Monday against Chicago and the next Sunday at the much-improved Jets), then the Patriots should go all in before the November 1 trade deadline to get better.

Expendables include offensive right tackle, Isaiah Wynn who’s been a penalty machine this season. Some teams (e.g. the Raiders?), may still feel Wynn is a left tackle (this space doesn’t) so they may be willing to part with a solid commodity for one.

For the Patriots, if you’re trying to be a playoff team or more, that means you add players to positions that need a boost.

Those positions may include a running back to replace the injured Damien Harris and Ty Montgomery to pair with the exploding Rhamondre Stevenson. Christian McCaffrey would do nicely for whatever it takes in expendable players and/or draft picks.

He’s no diamond in the rough type. He’s a bonafide star and the offense would be enhanced dramatically by the versatile McCaffrey. In addition, a wide receiver to complement the ever-dependable (although unsigned) Jakobi Meyers, is advisable.

That player would replace a traded Nelson Agholor, and possibly another rumored wideout trade possibility, Kendrick Bourne (for whatever reason they’d have). Zappe has proven he can find and hit the open man for big gainers.

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The team needs more explosiveness at the position even with the possible emergence of a second-round pick, Tyquan Thornton. Give him the explosiveness after the catch he needs. Go get a young player who’s buried on another team’s depth chart and just waiting for a chance to bust out.

New England Patriots need another solid edge player

The Patriots also need another edge player to play opposite Matt Judon. No one has emerged to give the team a two-sided sack attack. Use the aforementioned players and/or draft picks to solidify an already strong defense with another attacking edge player.

And finally, especially if Wynn is moved, the Patriots could use another young talented offensive tackle, They failed to address the position in any meaningful way in the draft and that depth is critical in case of injury.

These are just a few suggestions of possible players to be shipped out by the Patriots from their current roster before the trade deadline. There are others, e.g. on the defensive line.

Next. Why Belichick should target Christian McCaffrey. dark

Yet, in adding McCaffrey and one or two other players at positions of need the Patriots will help solidify their claim on a playoff berth. If the Patriots after the October 30 game at the Jets sit at 5-3 with their sights firmly set on a playoff spot, it’s a necessity, not an option.

Let’s see if in that situation Bill Belichick and his personnel department have the fortitude and perspicacity to make the moves they need.

If Zappe continues doing what he’s doing, those moves could just propel this outfit further than anyone previously anticipated, a lot further. The advice here is, go for it.