With the deadline for 53-man rosters to be finalized by 4 p.m. ET today, teams around the NFL are scrambling to trade players who still have value but don’t fit on their roster anymore.
For the Patriots, kicker Nick Folk is one such player.
Patriots Trade Rumors
It was reported on Tuesday morning that New England is shopping the 38-year-old former Pro Bowler. Folk is apparently going to be replaced by 2023 fourth-round draft pick Chad Ryland, and the Pats would probably like to avoid carrying two kickers on the roster (or cutting Folk outright) if possible.
Despite his age, Folk is still one of the league’s better kickers. He connected on 86.5% of his field goals and 91.4% of his extra points last year, so he’s pretty close to automatic. Plus after four years in New England, he can still handle kicking in the elements and isn’t merely an indoor kicker.
Folk played well in preseason action, too, so it doesn’t seem like he’s lost it. The Patriots are simply ready to give someone much younger (and cheaper) a chance, especially since Bill Belichick prefers to move on from players a year too early rather than a year too late.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, one of their most likely trade partners no longer needs a kicker after the Browns traded for Dustin Hopkins and cut Cade York. Still, Folk would be an upgrade for several teams around the league, including the Lions and Chargers.
Time will tell if New England is able to strike a deal and ship Folk out before today’s roster deadline. If not, the Patriots can still hang on to him and try to deal him before Week 1, but today probably represents their best chance to get something done for a meaningful return.
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