New England Patriots

A New England Patriots helmet during the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

A New England Patriots helmet during the game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

The NFL trade deadline has officially come and gone without an additional trade from the New England Patriots.

With a few areas of potential concern — New England’s depth at tight end and on the offensive line were frequently highlighted as the team’s weak spots on the 53-man roster — the Patriots’ inactivity seemed to come as a surprise to some. But it wasn’t as simple as just picking up the best player available, as Patriots coach Bill Belichick explained on Tuesday morning.

“We wouldn’t have enough cap space right now to just go out and acquire any player that was available regardless of what the price was in terms of compensation. We would have to fit him under our cap, and there are some players we just wouldn’t be able to do that with,” Belichick offered. “You really can’t change the contract. I mean, that wouldn’t happen until tomorrow so it would have had to of already been done previously so the team knew they were going to trade a player and wanted to change his contract to make him more attractive in the trade, that would have really already had to of been done.”

Belichick also noted the long-term fiscal aspect of it all, saying that the Patriots couldn’t just blow all their money at the deadline with the assumption that they wouldn’t have any additional expenses or cap-related issues over the next nine weeks.

There’s also the fact that the Patriots already made their deadline splash, acquiring veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (two catches for 23 yards in Sunday’s win) from the Falcons in exchange for a second-round pick just last week.

And the Patriots weren’t alone, really, as the deadline came and went with absolutely zero big moves. The Bengals (somehow) didn’t move anybody off their roster, O.J. Howard is still a Buc, Trent Williams remains “with” the Redskins, and nobody seemed willing to pay the price for the Jets’ high-end talents (running back Le’Veon Bell and safety Jamal Adams).

The Patriots did make a transaction on Tuesday, though, releasing 37-year-old kicker Mike Nugent from their roster. Nugent, signed as an in-season replacement for the injured Stephen Gostkowski, made just five of his eight field goals with the Pats.

New England will take their 8-0 record to Baltimore for a Sunday Night Football meeting with the Ravens.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.