New England Patriots

By Alex Barth,

NFL trade rumors are heating up with the trade deadline now just two weeks away. As the Patriots sit near .500 in a competitive division, many wonder if they’ll make a move by November 3, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

One target to watch, as of Tuesday, is Bengals wide receiver John Ross. The ninth-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft has requested a trade from the Cincinnati Bengals, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

This bears watching from a Patriots point of view. The team has been linked to Ross before, as recently as this offseason.

The 25-year-old has been a popular name in trade rumors in recent years. After running an all-time record 4.22 40-yard dash at the 2017 Combine, Ross has had a slow start to his NFL career. Injuries and poor quarterback play have hampered his development. In 27 games spanning three-plus seasons, the speedster has recorded 51 catches for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns. The majority of that production came in 2018, when he played a career-high 13 games.

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In 2020, Ross has played in just three games, catching two passes for 17 yards. He was a healthy scratch for Weeks 3 through 5, before playing just one snap against Indianapolis on Sunday.

This isn’t the first time Ross has wanted a trade out of Cincinnati, and according to Garafolo, the Bengals haven’t indicated whether or not this will be the time they finally honor his request.

After their last trade deadline acquisition (Mohamed Sanu) turned out to be a disappointment, some fans may be hesitant to go back to that well. But Ross would add an explosive dynamic the Patriots are missing on offense, especially with Julian Edelman’s slow start. If the price is right (day three draft pick), Ross is a name to monitor going forwards.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at