98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
The New England Patriots are open for business and listening.
On just about anybody, too, according to The MMQB's Albert Breer.
"The Patriots have been quiet thus far, but I’m told they’ve said to other teams they’d listen on almost anyone," Breer wrote this week. "The team did discuss Stephon Gilmore with other teams before the draft, and then again in training camp, before moving $4.5 million in his contract from 2021 to ’20. Other teams took that restructure as a sure sign that this will be Gilmore’s last year in New England. So if they lose Sunday in Buffalo, it’d be interesting to see if they’d move the timetable on his departure up."
As noted by Breer, the 30-year-old Gilmore is the name to watch here. Reportedly on the block, and now nursing a knee injury, a Patriots loss to the East-leading Bills on Sunday may be enough for the Patriots to decide that it's time to move on from Gilmore. That's especially true if the writing is on the wall that Gilmore is not in the team's 2021 plans.
But the Patriots have, understandably, played this one pretty close to the vest.
"I don't know anything about those," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said earlier this week when asked about Gilmore trade talks.
In fact, Belichick has been largely hands off when it comes to all potential trade deadline happenings.
"That's something that I’ll check in on with Nick [Caserio] here this week, but I usually don’t get too involved in that," Belichick said Tuesday when asked about deadline movement. "That's something that the communication on that really goes through the personnel department with Nick and his staff. I’d say, generally speaking, the coaches are pretty involved in their game preparations at this point in time until something becomes more of a realistic opportunity.
"So, we'll kind of see how that goes."
Outside of Gilmore, it's interesting to see where the Patriots could go in terms of trade pieces.
Offensive lineman Joe Thuney may not be long for the Patriots after signing a franchise tag for 2020, but Thuney is currently dealing with an ankle issue and is among 11 considered questionable for this weekend's contest. The Patriot offensive line is also considerably battered right now, and Thuney may be viewed as a must-have piece no matter their record.
Veteran wide receiver Julian Edelman, who has at times looked like a shell of himself this year, underwent a knee procedure and is expected to miss time. An already-middling return in an Edelman trade certainly got worse with that news.
But there's also the possibility that the Patriots buy this deadline, with the team reportedly still on the hunt for a potential pass-catching option with glaring holes at both wide receiver and tight end.
The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 3 at 4 p.m.
But first comes what feels like a season-deciding head-to-head with the Bills.