New England Patriots

Oct 25, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline as they take on the San Francisco 49ers in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt Dolloff,

Sunday’s loss to the 49ers was the kind of disaster that may shift the mindset in the front office at the NFL trade deadline. But a report from hours before the game suggests that Bill Belichick is, once again, looking to bolster his pass-catching group.

According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, league sources say the Patriots “remain in the market for a pass catcher” ahead of the Nov. 3 NFL trade deadline. Someone who “has scouted the Patriots extensively” told La Canfora that he believes the problem with the offense is the weapons and not quarterback Cam Newton.

In reality, it’s a little of both. There have been occasions where receivers are getting open and Newton is simply not seeing them. But there’s no question that the Pats lack talent at wide receiver and tight end that’s commensurate to a high-scoring offense or a real playoff contender.

Bill Belichick will likely be active at the 2020 NFL trade deadline, but which direction will he take? (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick will likely be active at the 2020 NFL trade deadline, but which direction will he take? (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

So if Bill Belichick is undeterred by Sunday’s ugly defeat and wants to bolster the offense, it sounds like he will bring in a wideout or tight end who can make an impact in the passing game. The Eagles have been bandied about in trade rumors. The Giants make sense as a trade partner. If Belichick really wanted to go big, maybe the Falcons would make Julio Jones available.

MORE: Bill Belichick needs to fix whatever is poisoning the Patriots locker room

Still, it can’t be stressed enough that this report came out Sunday morning before the game. And now on Monday morning, it’s hard to think of a worse loss in the Belichick era. So while we can expect Belichick to be active in the trade market, it’s fair to wonder which direction he will take.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.