3. Bolster the Defense
New England's defense was supposed to be a strength this year, but injuries have prevented the unit from living up to its potential. That's especially true now that two of the team's top defenders -- Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez -- are both sidelined.
Belichick traded for J.C. Jackson as a band-aid to replace Gonzalez, but that's not enough. He needs to do more to shore up the defense, and the trade deadline is the perfect opportunity for that.
The Patriots don't have enough offensive firepower to win games on that side of the ball, so having a sturdy defense is critical to their success.
With Gonzalez for the season and Judon potentially out as well, New England needs to add another big piece to its secondary if it wants to make a serious push in the second half of the season. Jackson hasn't done much since arriving and doesn't appear to be a long-term solution.
Brian Burns of the Carolina Panthers or Derek Barnett from the Philadelphia Eagles could be a nice upgrade. The Panthers in general are a young team with some promising defensive talent that could be coached up, making them a good trade partner.
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