The NFL trade deadline is nearly upon us, and the question is: Could this be the year that the Larry-Fitzgerald-to-the-Patriots pipe dream becomes a reality?
MIKE GIARDI: Oh. My. God. Are we really doing this again? Right now everybody in Arizona is fighting to keep their jobs - the GM, Bruce Arians, Carson Palmer, etc. right on down the damn ball boys. You know what doesn't help that? Trading Larry Freakin' Fitzgerald. Four times in seven games, he's been targeted 10 or more times. Twice, he's caught at least 10. Yes, he's older and maybe when the Cards find themselves again, Fitz is of no help to them. But he helps now and that's what it's all about. Besides, if you were going to invest resources to make a trade of this magnitude, why the heck would you do it for a wide receiver? You have enough. And I've had enough of this conversation I'm out.
PHIL PERRY: Sorry, kids. I don't see this happening. Do the Patriots respect Larry Fitzgerald as a player? Of course. And I get why people here might still be interested. He'd quickly be their top slot receiver, in all likelihood. He'd help provide depth in case Danny Amendola misses time. He'd give a boost to the Patriots offense, which may be forced to out-gun teams more often now that the defense is without Dont'a Hightower. But the Patriots offense is already one of the most efficient in the league, and it looks like there would have to be some finagling done financially to make room for the 34-year-old future Hall of Famer. Fitzgerald is still owed the remaining portion of his $11 million guaranteed in base salary, and the Patriots have a shade under $5 million available in cap space. The Cardinals have a quarterback with a broken arm and a running back with a damaged wrist, and they may be willing to part with Fitzgerald for a couple of mid-round picks. But given the dearth of choices the Patriots have had in recent years, they may have to start being more protective of those. Giving up draft capital what looks like a luxury rather than a need seems . . . unnecessary. Tom, would you chase Fitz if given the opportunity? Is there another receiver out there you'd be interested in? Or are we suckers for spending any time at all looking at this position?
TOM E. CURRAN: The lowest of low-hanging fruit trade targets. I think the first time this was run up the flagpole was 2009. And here we are - eight seasons later - pining for Fitz. I don't think wideout is a particular issue. A complementary tight end for Gronk? Yes. Maybe Will Tye fills that role in the second half if the Dwayne Allen Experience shuts it down for good. Tye is on the practice squad. The place the Patriots hurt is in the middle of the field and short. Running Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan in there will inevitably lead to both of them being less than 100. That's a guarantee. But the developing running game and the return of Rex Burkhead as the team's third dual-threat running back addresses that. If the Patriots want a slot, they don't need to trade for him. Go get Daniel Braverman - a free agent - and plunk him on the practice squad. Fitz. He'll be standing on the steps in Canton in a yellow coat and people will be saying, "Pats gotta find a way to get him..."