Patriots pocket book: Figuring out positions of want for New England to focus on on the NFL commerce deadline


The 2021 NFL commerce deadline is ready 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 under .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 below middle. 

If the Patriots — who’re traditionally very energetic on the commerce market — do determine to speculate extra into this 2021 squad, what must be their areas of assault? Beneath, we’ll have 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 consequence of a calf damage for the majority of the season and can miss not less than another sport earlier than he’s eligible to return. Whereas he might technically be capable of return in comparatively brief order, it is unclear if he is truly wholesome sufficient to take action. Not solely is Brown’s standing up within the air, however New England’s present tackles aren’t delivering stellar outcomes. In line with PFF, the mix of Isaiah Wynn (primarily at left sort out), Justin Herron, and Yasir Durant have given up 32 stress and 7 sacks by the primary six weeks. Even when Brown is ready to come again wholesome, this group may use somebody that may extra persistently hold Jones off his bottom. 

Large 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 no true No. 1 possibility on this place group for New England. If somebody of elite caliber is available on the deadline, this must 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 could be the very best plan of action. 

Cornerback

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, nevertheless 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 look like the Patriots may use one other nook to deepen the unit presently headlined by J.C. Jackson and Jalen Mills. During the last 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. 

Linebacker

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. It is a place that the Patriots want so as to add extra velocity. Possibly that comes through a prospect in subsequent yr’s NFL Draft, but when there’s a diamond within the tough — just like Van Noy when the crew acquired him across the deadline in 2016 — that’s value exploring as properly. 

Craving much more NFL protection specializing in previews, recaps, information and evaluation? Pay attention under and comply with the Choose Six podcast for a every day dose of every part you could comply with professional soccer.

Tips on how to watch

Date: Sunday, Oct. 24 | Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts)
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click on right here)
Observe: CBS Sports activities 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 yr 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 will not be activated to the roster throughout that point, he’ll revert to PUP and be achieved for the yr. It’s going to 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 lead to some roster shake-up. In fact, the crew may at all times merely determine to carry three quarterbacks on the roster, which might be the more than likely possibility. 

Together with Stidham, linebacker Terez Corridor 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 instantly following final week’s loss to the Cowboys, the Patriots’ protection has but to really reside as much as its offseason billing so far within the season. Coming into 2021, it was anticipated that New England’s protection could be an space of energy because it rolled out a rookie quarterback. By way of the primary six weeks, it has been the alternative. 

“We do not like the place we’re at simply because we have not been ending,” security Adrian Phillips advised reporters Wednesday, through WEEI.com. “Everyone that performs protection, and that is in all probability the identical for the groups across the league, they like when the stress is on them. We like when the stress is on us and we have not been holding as much as that, however we have been getting higher each week. … Our fundamental factor is getting higher each week and ensuring once we get to these conditions and factors within the sport, all people is clicking and all people is transferring on the identical frequency and we will come out with the win.”

Did Stevenson leap over Bolden?

One factor which will have flown below 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 capable of catch all three of his targets within the passing sport for 39 yards. Extra importantly, because it pertains to him retaining this position 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 in the beginning of free company this offseason, however hasn’t gotten off to the beginning that many hoped he would. Coming 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 bear in mind him when he was with the Titans,” he stated, as transcribed by WEEI.com. “Earlier than I might see flashes of him as he made his approach and type of turned a veteran participant on this league and I used to at all times say, ‘The Titans do not use him sufficient. The Titans do not use him sufficient.’ What he will must do is he will must get to a degree, neglect about all of the expectations and the large contract and simply go on the market and play. He looks as if he is preventing the ball, he is not relaxed. The child has a lot expertise and a lot skill that it is like he is placing added stress on himself. He is lastly obtained the monetary safety he is on the lookout for, that is the time simply to loosen up and go on the market and play. He does not must play scared or something like that.

“I’m on the lookout for him to actually step up as a result of the expectations when he got here right here was that this dude may do a number 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 loosen up and play soccer.”

Richard Seymour will get his crimson jacket

Patriots legend Richard Seymour was formally inducted into the crew’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 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. Seymour was a key piece to the early years of the Patriots’ dynasty, profitable three Tremendous Bowl titles with the group and is eleventh on the crew’s all-time sack listing. 

“Yeah, every part,” Invoice Belichick stated with a smirk when requested Friday what made Seymour distinctive. “Richard was an amazing participant, Had an amazing talent set. He had nice size. Explosive. Very fast for his dimension. May actually do every part. … He was an amazing participant. Actually 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 properly.”



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