Giving Tom Brady another weapon in the passing game would be like giving Batman a jet ski, but the Patriots know a good quarterback can never have enough toys and are reportedly considering pursuit of multiple high-profile wide receivers at the trade deadline, according to a report.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports first reported the Patriots’ interest in jumping into the trade market for a top-end wideout, reporting on Sunday the Pats will be very active.
“The New England Patriots, they are trying to go after a bonafide premium wide receiver, offering up high draft choices for that,” Glazer reported.
Multiple reports from NFL Media named two specific wideouts who could be trade targets for New England.
Denver’s Demaryius Thomas was the first name mentioned (by Mike Girardi) as a potential name to watch for the Pats, but he’s since been traded to the Texans, while Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero added Lions wideout Golden Tate to the list of names the Patriots could be eyeing.
You know who doesn’t believe the latter rumor? Lions wideout Golden Tate.
Tate got more specific with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press, saying he believes he won’t be going anywhere and that he’s closer to an extension than a potential trade.
“I don’t think so,” Tate told Birkett on Monday evening after the rumors started swirling. “I feel like I’m a huge part of this organization and this offense especially, so hopefully that’s not the case. But again, I do understand it’s a business and if it happens then, you know, depends on where they send me.”
Tate would qualify as a bonafide premium wide receiver — he currently leads the Lions in targets (69), receptions (44) and receiving yards (515) and is on pace for his fifth 1,000-yard season in the last six years. Mixing Tate with Tom Brady would be a real pain in the rear for a lot of defenses; adding him to Julian Edelman and James White and Josh Gordon and Rob Gronkowski? Good luck stopping that on defense.
Thomas probably isn’t in the same realm, especially since he has a $8.5 million base salary this year. He’s considered more of a salary dump for the Broncos than anything else with his recent play, although he could provide insurance in the event that Josh Gordon can’t manage to make meetings or team busses on time moving forward.
There are a couple of other wideout names to watch as well.
Pierre Garcon is a 32-year-old possession receiver who could fit what the Patriots want, but he also has a hefty salary and a decent amount of dead money. It wouldn’t likely take a high draft pick to land him and I don’t think he qualifies as a “premium” wide receiver, although he is extremely underrated.
DeSean Jackson could be the guy to watch here. He has one year left on his contract after this season with no dead money, he’s a burner who would complement what the Patriots have on their roster and he’s made it clear he would like out in Tampa Bay, although that might change if Ryan Fitzpatrick slides back under center.
Larry Fitzgerald is the last name on the list who would make a lot of sense, if he’s willing to play for a team other than the Cardinals. The Patriots and Fitz would go together like peanut butter and jelly, although the Cardinals may want Fitzgerald to hang around and help Josh Rosen grow as a passer.
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