We’re almost in October, which means the NFL trade deadline isn’t too far off. Teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Oct. 31 to trade freely with other teams.
That means clubs still have over a month to evaluate their rosters and decide if they want to buy or sell at the deadline.
In the New England Patriots’ case, there are several players on the roster that they’re already probably looking to move on from. That will be especially true if the team still has a losing record in late October and is looking to acquire draft picks for next year.
With that in mind, here are five Patriots players who could be dealt at the deadline.
5 Patriots Trade Candidates
1. JuJu Smith-Schuster
Based on how the first three weeks of the season have gone, the Patriots will certainly be looking to trade Smith-Schuster next month. The only question is whether they’ll have any takers.
The veteran wideout has gotten off to a painfully slow start with New England after signing a three-year, $25 million deal in the offseason. He only has 10 catches on 16 targets for 66 yards and no touchdowns so far, averaging a career-low 22.0 yards per game.
While Smith-Schuster hasn’t played well, there’s plenty of blame to go around for his sluggish start. For starters, he’s dealing with a lingering knee injury and probably isn’t 100%.
The Patriots also deserve some criticism for how they’ve utilized Smith-Schuster. They’ve only used him on 62% of offensive snaps, which is a career-low for him. You can’t contribute if you’re not on the field, and New England simply isn’t giving him many chances.
The Pats and Mac Jone have also been targeting him on primarily shorter routes and throws, which has made it difficult for him to make an impact when he does catch the ball.
Despite his unwieldy contract and poor performance so far, Smith-Schuster should still have some trade value. He’s only 26, helped the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl last year and is a known commodity around the league as a former Pro Bowler. Some team out there would probably be willing to add him to their passing attack, and the Patriots would be thrilled to get him off their hands.