REVOLUTION: The New England Revolution take on Toronto FC this afternoon @ 2:00pm on 98.5 HD2 (Hubcast) and Streaming Here.

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 15: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on prior to a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

As the New England Patriots approach the 2023 NFL trade deadline at 1-5, some around the National Football League are wondering whether they’d actually be sellers.

According to Jeremy Fowler at ESPN.com, league execs are “curious about” a number of players that could be real trade chips for the Patriots – but “teams are torn” on whether they’d actually get rid of said players. One league exec reportedly went on the record as saying: “[The Patriots] are a team that will say players are available but then will pull back.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 15: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the first quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 15: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the first quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

That doesn’t sound particularly surprising, that Bill Belichick would be as competitive in trade negotiations as he is on the football field. But at the same time, it’s literally been decades since the Pats were in this kind of spot before the trade deadline. During the Tom Brady years, it was always either “buy” or “stand pat.” This is the first time since perhaps Belichick’s first season in 2000 that a major sale is plausible.

The players apparently drawing curiosity from other teams ahead of the trade deadline aren’t surprising, either: linebacker Josh Uche, safety Kyle Dugger, and offensive lineman Michael Onwenu are young, proven NFL talents in their contract years. Defensive tackle Christian Barmore was also named, but he’s in his third season with one more year of team control before he heads for free agency.

  • Kendrick Bourne Trade Rumors

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 15: Kendrick Bourne #84 of the New England Patriots runs after a catch during the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 15: Kendrick Bourne #84 of the New England Patriots runs after a catch during the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

    Mentioned elsewhere in Fowler’s report was Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, who’s having a solid season as part of an otherwise ugly offense. Fowler says the Patriots “could get calls” on Bourne, but isn’t “sensing much movement there as of now.”

    Bourne is also in the final year of his contract with the Patriots. He’d be a fine complementary receiving threat in a contending offense with high-end talent.

  • Will They Re-Sign Anyone?

    Sep 25, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots defensive tackle Christian Barmore (90) reacts during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

    Foxboro, MA, Sep. 25, 2022: New England Patriots defensive tackle Christian Barmore reacts during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. (Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

    Barmore, Dugger, and Onwenu all seem like players the Patriots would want to sign to an extension, rather than trade away, especially if Belichick stays in any capacity beyond 2023.

    Uche, meanwhile, hasn’t been a strong fit for what the Patriots typically want from outside linebackers, but he’s a proven pass-rusher who could thrive in a more aggressive system. If it’s still Belichick calling the shots on personnel in 2024, it would be more on-brand if he extended Anfernee Jennings than Uche.

  • What’s The Point?

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 08: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on October 08, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 08: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on October 08, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

    If Belichick intends to keep putting the best team possible on the field and win games – and especially if he’s coaching to save his job – then of course he’s not going to sell off all his players who are any good or carry any trade value.

    But if he’s going to stay for 2024, at what cost is he going to get these Patriots to, say, six wins? The Patriots are playing poorly and being coached poorly, but they will still have a chance to beat the Commanders, Colts, Steelers, Giants, and Broncos, for sure. At the end of the day, that wouldn’t accomplish anything except diminish their much-needed draft capital.

    That’s why it would be frustrating to see Belichick sit on his hands, and not take acceptable deals for players drawing legitimate interest. That would be more in the best interests of himself than the team. He owes it to both himself and the team to do something to set the Patriots up better for the future, rather than focus too much on the present. For wins that are, at this point, meaningless.

  • Click here for complete New England Patriots coverage at 985TheSportsHub.com.

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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.