The Patriots have made trades before the deadline in recent seasons, including last year’s acquisition of cornerback Aqib Talib, and they have some obvious areas of need with this year’s deadline looming on Tuesday.
Vince Wilfork is out for the season and Tommy Kelly is ailing, leaving the team thin at defensive tackle, and they’ve also lost linebacker Jarod Mayo for the season, but coach Bill Belichick said Friday that he hasn’t noticed a major uptick in trade conversations from past seasons. Belichick explained that teams find their depth doesn’t go as far as it may have seemed early in the season, limiting available players and making it harder to find someone who provides the benefits you’re looking to add to the roster.
“Usually when you have that kind of depth, you see more of those trades I think in September when, A – the value is higher and, B – teams have more depth at that position so it’s easier for them to move the player because they have other guys at that point but two months later, they have less depth at that position and they’re less likely to move them,” Belichick said in comments distributed by the team. “That’s just one man’s opinion; it’s not a survey of the league or anything. It’s hard to get a guy ready in a short amount of time. I don’t know much about baseball, but maybe a third baseman on this team, put him at third base on the other team and let him hit. How much is there involved? I’m sure there’s some but it’s not like playing left guard, having 20 different protections and two dozen running plays and a dozen different defenses you have to block every week. It’s a little more involved.”
As the Talib deal shows, the Patriots are willing to take on that risk when a player they want is available. We’ll find out in the next few days whether such a player is on the block this season or if the Patriots will be working with the talent already on hand.