By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Antonio Brown Experiment has made pretty much anything possible when it comes to the Patriots and premium wide receivers. So it's not surprising that they are now linked to one of the most talented wideouts in the league who's been subject to trade rumors.
CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported on the activity of the Patriots and several other NFL contenders in a new column ahead of the trade deadline, which passes at 4 p.m. on Oct. 29. He mentions the Patriots as one of the league's most active teams in "laying the groundwork" for deadline deals, which is not surprising.
La Canfora says the Patriots are "expected to push" to acquire "players like" Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert. As with a lot of other notable names linked to the Patriots - Emmanuel Sanders and Stefon Diggs chief among them - the biggest roadblock to making such an acquisition would be financials.
If acquired after eight weeks, Green would be on the Patriots' books for over $6 million in real and cap dollars. Eifert would come in at a much more manageable $662,500 (via Spotrac) if acquired in the same timeframe, so he seems like much more of a Patriots-type move.
Eifert has been active for the Bengals' first five games of the season, despite the "injury-prone" tag he's earned over the years. Green, meanwhile, is expected to be out a while with a foot injury. So even if the Patriots wanted to take the plunge with Green, he's not a certainty to be at full strength for the rest of the season - but for that reason, he may come a lot cheaper than usual.
For now, Eifert feels like the only realistic possibility for an acquisition. The Patriots are thinner at tight end than receiver and could use him at least as a red zone threat. Green, Diggs, and Sanders should be considered closer to long shots, but never say never with this team.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].