The Patriots are having a pretty good preseason so far, especially compared to last year’s horror show. New England is getting up to speed on Bill O’Brien’s new offense, several players are looking better than expected and the team seems to be clicking after beating the Green Bay Packers last weekend.
Unfortunately, though, not everyone will be able to stay with the Pats due to roster cuts. Along with every other NFL team, New England must shrink its roster down to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 29 — four days after its final preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.
While the majority of excess players will simply be cut, some should be traded instead if they’re valuable enough to net assets from other teams. That’s especially true for veteran players who may not seem like a good fit or are in danger of being replaced by a younger, cheaper option.
Bill Belichick has never been afraid to ship players out for the good of the team, either, even guys who have played well for him in the past.
With that in mind, here are three players who the Patriots are likely to trade before the roster cut deadline.
3 Patriots Trade Candidates
1. Nick Folk
Folk is a good NFL kicker. He’s a former Pro Bowler who has served the Patriots well during his three seasons in New England, playing every game while drilling 90.4% of his field goal attempts and 90.4% of his extra points.
Unfortunately for the 38-year-old, his replacement is already on the roster. The Pats took kicker Chad Ryland in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and you typically don’t draft a kicker that high just to make him sit around.
Kickers don’t usually get traded and are often just cut when they are no longer needed, but Folk could still be an attractive option to several teams. The Cleveland Browns in particular are in desperate need of a kicker given Cade York’s embarrassing struggles this preseason, plus they have more than enough cap space to absorb Folk’s $2.875 million hit for 2023.
Folk is more reliable than the majority of kickers in the NFL right now, so some team would probably love to have him. If the Patriots are just going to bench him anyways, they’d be better off trading him for something of value instead.