Patriots notebook: Identifying positions of need for New England to target at the NFL trade deadline

The 2021 NFL commerce deadline is about for 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 2, and it is truthful to marvel how the New England Patriots are going to strategy that interval of the soccer calendar. On condition that they’re getting into Week 7 two video games beneath .500, it would not be a shock to see them in vendor’s mode. That stated, New England is extra proficient than its document suggests and there is a case to double-down on this roster after spending a boatload in free company earlier this offseason, particularly as Mac Jones continues to look the half beneath heart. 

If the Patriots — who’re traditionally very lively on the commerce market — do determine to speculate extra into this 2021 squad, what ought to be their areas of assault? Under, we’ll take a look at 4 place teams that might use an injection of expertise to assist New England for the stretch run. 

Offensive sort out

The Patriots traded for proper sort out Trent Brown this offseason, however the 28-year-old has been on injured reserve as a result of a calf damage for the majority of the season and can miss a minimum of yet one more sport earlier than he’s eligible to return. Whereas he might technically be capable to return in comparatively quick order, it is unclear if he is really wholesome sufficient to take action. Not solely is Brown’s standing up within the air, however New England’s present tackles aren’t handing over stellar outcomes. Based on PFF, the mixture of Isaiah Wynn (primarily at left sort out), Justin Herron, and Yasir Durant have given up 32 strain and 7 sacks by way of the primary six weeks. Even when Brown is ready to come again wholesome, this group may use somebody that may extra persistently preserve Jones off his bottom. 

Vast receiver

That is an apparent one, however the Patriots nonetheless want a large receiver that opposing defenses have to sport plan in opposition to. Whereas Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor — the 2 receivers that the Patriots introduced on this offseason — have had their moments, there is not any true No. 1 choice on this place group for New England. If somebody of elite caliber is available on the deadline, this ought to be a excessive precedence for the Patriots, particularly as they’ve struggled to deal with this place within the NFL Draft up to now. Buying a longtime participant at this place may be the perfect plan of action. 


Sure, the Patriots traded away Stephon Gilmore and the previous Defensive Participant of the 12 months actually would have eradicated the necessity to add to the secondary, however it appeared like the 2 sides have been by no means going to agree on a contract, which was what sparked the cope with Carolina. Whereas this is not probably the most urgent want on the depth chart, it does appear to be the Patriots may use one other nook to deepen the unit at the moment headlined by J.C. Jackson and Jalen Mills. Over the past three video games heading into Week 7, the Patriots have given up 333 passing yards per sport, which is the worst mark within the NFL over that stretch. 


One other sneaky want for New England, regardless of having notable names like Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Matt Judon, and Jamie Collins now on the roster. This can be a place that the Patriots want so as to add extra velocity. Possibly that comes by way of a prospect in subsequent 12 months’s NFL Draft, but when there’s a diamond within the tough — just like Van Noy when the group acquired him across the deadline in 2016 — that’s price exploring as nicely. 

Craving much more NFL protection specializing in previews, recaps, information and evaluation? Hear beneath and follow the Choose Six podcast for a day by day dose of every thing you should comply with professional soccer.

How you can watch

Date: Sunday, Oct. 24 | Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts)
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)
Observe: CBS Sports App
Odds: Patriots -7, O/U 42.5

Welcome again, Jarrett Stidham

The Patriots had a handful of gamers that have been now eligible to start practising this week after beginning the 12 months on the bodily unable to carry out listing. That included quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who underwent again surgical procedure throughout coaching camp. He was at follow this week, which means that his 21-day window has began. If Stidham is just not activated to the roster throughout that point, he’ll revert to PUP and be finished for the 12 months. It will be attention-grabbing to see how New England handles Stidham’s return and what that might imply for veteran Brian Hoyer. If the Patriots see Stidham as a extra appropriate backup to Jones, that might end in some roster shake-up. After all, the group may all the time merely determine to carry three quarterbacks on the roster, which might be the almost certainly choice. 

Together with Stidham, linebacker Terez Hall and defensive sort out Byron Cowart have been eligible to return this week. Cowart additionally started follow opening up his 21-day window, whereas Corridor has nonetheless been sidelined. 

Protection takes accountability 

As I wrote about immediately following last week’s loss to the Cowboys, the Patriots’ protection has but to really reside as much as its offseason billing up to now within the season. Getting into 2021, it was anticipated that New England’s protection could be an space of power because it rolled out a rookie quarterback. Via the primary six weeks, it has been the other. 

“We do not like the place we’re at simply because we’ve not been ending,” security Adrian Phillips instructed reporters Wednesday, by way of “Everyone that performs protection, and that is in all probability the identical for the groups across the league, they like when the strain is on them. We like when the strain is on us and we’ve not been holding as much as that, however we have been getting higher every week. … Our fundamental factor is getting higher every week and ensuring after we get to these conditions and factors within the sport, everyone is clicking and everyone is shifting on the identical frequency and we are able to come out with the win.”

Did Stevenson leap over Bolden?

One factor that will have flown beneath the radar in final Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys was that it appeared like rookie Rhamondre Stevenson has leapfrogged Brandon Bolden on the depth chart. Stevenson performed 33% of the offensive snaps in comparison with Bolden’s 20% because the veteran largely went again to his particular groups duties. Not solely that, however Stevenson was in a position to catch all three of his targets within the passing sport for 39 yards. Extra importantly, because it pertains to him protecting this function for the remainder of the season, Stevenson was clear in go safety in opposition to Dallas. 

Rodney Harrison’s recommendation to Jonnu Smith 

Jonnu Smith’s introduction to Foxborough hasn’t gone as deliberate. The tight finish inked a four-year, $50 million contract firstly of free company this offseason, however hasn’t gotten off to the beginning that many hoped he would. Getting into Week 7, Smith has simply 16 catches for 124 yards and a landing. On Thursday, former Patriots security and present NBC analyst Rodney Harrison gave some recommendation to Smith whereas showing on WEEI’s Merloni and Fauria

“I keep in mind him when he was with the Titans,” he stated, as transcribed by “Earlier than I’d see flashes of him as he made his means and sort of turned a veteran participant on this league and I used to all the time say, ‘The Titans do not use him sufficient. The Titans do not use him sufficient.’ What he will need to do is he will need to get to some extent, overlook about all of the expectations and the massive contract and simply go on the market and play. He looks as if he is combating the ball, he isn’t relaxed. The child has a lot expertise and a lot potential that it is like he is placing added strain on himself. He is lastly obtained the monetary safety he is in search of, that is the time simply to calm down and go on the market and play. He does not need to play scared or something like that.

“I’m in search of him to essentially step up as a result of the expectations when he got here right here was that this dude may do loads of various things — [create] mismatches for linebackers, safeties and even cornerbacks as a result of he is a really, very proficient child. He simply must calm down and play soccer.”

Richard Seymour will get his pink jacket

Patriots legend Richard Seymour was formally inducted into the group’s Corridor of Fame on Saturday throughout a ceremony exterior of Gillette Stadium. He was initially elected to the Patriots Corridor of Fame in 2020, however the ceremony did not happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seymour was a key piece to the early years of the Patriots’ dynasty, profitable three Super Bowl titles with the group and is eleventh on the group’s all-time sack listing. 

“Yeah, every thing,” Invoice Belichick stated with a smirk when requested Friday what made Seymour distinctive. “Richard was an incredible participant, Had an incredible ability set. He had nice size. Explosive. Very fast for his measurement. Might actually do every thing. … He was an excellent participant. Definitely deserves to be within the Patriots Corridor of Fame and the NFL Corridor of Fame. Hopefully, that will probably be coming shortly for him as nicely.” | Patriots pocket book: Figuring out positions of want for New England to focus on on the NFL commerce deadline


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