Do Patriots have another trick up their sleeve?


Do Patriots have another trick up their sleeve?

The NFL trade deadline is nearly upon us, and the question is: Will Malcolm Butler get the Jamie Collins treatment?  Could he be gone next week?

TOM E. CURRAN: It's easy to scoff at this possibility but don't forget how stunning it was last Halloween when the Patriots traded Collins, who player after player would describe as the team's best defender. Collins had a reduced role in his final game with the Patriots and had been remarkable in just one game -- the Week 3 win over Houston -- but nobody thought the last grains of sand were coming out of his Patriots hourglass. His situation does mirror Butler's -- both guys essentially in the last years of their contracts and approaching free agency with a desire (deservedly) to make a boatload of dough. But while Collins was becoming actively non-compliant, Butler hasn't been. He's had his down days but he never fails to compete. He hasn't -- in my limited view -- burdened his teammates with his business and he's not poop-stirring with the media. Additionally, he's their best corner. Still. How does the team get better in 2017 by trading him? He's going nowhere until March and then... he gone.

OTHER TRADE QUESTIONSWill Patriots trade Jimmy Garoppolo? | Will Pats trade for linebacker with Hightower out? | Will Larry Fitzgerald pipe dream become a reality?

MIKE GIARDI: Au contraire mon frère.  Butler has been a pain in the ass at times, and his private persona has been a lot different than his public one. But the combo platter of Gilmore's injury and poor play, coupled with Eric Rowe's groin, makes this a long shot at best. Whereas before all that, I'd say it would have definitely been on the table. Now Butler seems to be getting his on-field mojo back and that only adds to a difficult equation. Curious to see what he looks like when Gilmore returns. Suspect the Pats feel the same and would like that to happen this weekend. 

PHIL PERRY: We've said it since Stephon Gilmore put pen to paper on his new contract this offseason: Malcolm Butler is an obvious trade candidate, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Patriots dealt him before Halloween. It may not make them better in 2017, Tom, but we know that's not necessarily a pre-requisite for a trade in Bill Belichick's mind. Did the Patriots get better when Chandler Jones was dealt? What did the Patriots linebacker group look like when Jamie Collins was sent off? Addition by subtraction in those instances, you say? Maybe, but Mike is saying there are things bubbling under the surface with Butler where maybe the same logic could apply. And don't forget, Logan Mankins was dependable and as beloved as anyone in the Patriots locker room before he was moved. The Patriots eventually ended up more than fine after all of those moves (in fact they won the Super Bowls immediately following all three), but it couldn't be argued that they were better in the immediate aftermath. If Gilmore is healthy (he returned to practice on Wednesday), if Eric Rowe is expected to return for the stretch run (he's been doing light running as he rehabs, but his groin issue continues to linger and may have to be managed all season), and if Johnson Bademosi is all of a sudden a legitimate option, then I think there's a possibility Belichick tries to get something for Butler before losing him this offseason. They've done it before.

Bills rookie QB implodes, throwing five interceptions in 54-24 loss


Bills rookie QB implodes, throwing five interceptions in 54-24 loss

CARSON, Calif. -- Casey Hayward made two of the Chargers' five interceptions during a horrific first half by Buffalo rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman, and Los Angeles cruised to a 54-24 victory over the slumping Bills on Sunday.

Korey Toomer returned Peterman's first interception 59 yards for a touchdown on Buffalo's opening drive, the rookie threw two more interceptions in the first quarter and two additional picks in the second. Peterman was pulled from his first NFL start with a 37-7 halftime deficit after just 14 pass attempts for the Bills (5-5), who lost their third straight.

Buffalo benched Tyrod Taylor and promoted the fifth-round pick from Pitt earlier this week despite being in playoff position. Coach Sean McDermott replaced Peterman with Taylor in the second half, and the veteran went 15 of 25 for 158 yards, throwing one TD pass and rushing for another score.

The Chargers thoroughly capitalized on Peterman's mistakes, putting up a 27-point second quarter and their highest-scoring performance in Philip Rivers' 195 consecutive starts since 2006. Los Angeles set a franchise record for points in a first half during the Bills' worst defensive half since 1977, and the Chargers posted a resounding win for coach Anthony Lynn, who finished last season as Bills interim coach.

Rivers passed for 250 yards and Keenan Allen had 12 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns for the Chargers (4-6), whose offense capitalized on the extraordinary bounty created by its defense.

Joey Bosa particularly harassed Peterman, with his pressure contributing to Peterman's second and third picks. Bosa also forced a fumble while sacking Taylor on fourth down in the third quarter, and Melvin Ingram returned it 39 yards for a touchdown.

Taylor hit LeSean McCoy with a 12-yard TD pass on fourth down in the fourth quarter. McCoy also rushed for 114 yards and an early score.

One week after a heartbreaking overtime loss in Jacksonville, the Chargers snapped a two-game skid and got back into fine form on both sides of the ball. Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler rushed for TDs, and Nick Novak kicked four field goals.

Peterman actually completed his first two passes, and his first interception wasn't his fault. The pass hit fullback Pat DiMarco in the hands and went airborne, allowing Toomer to catch it for a rollicking return down the Buffalo sideline.

The Bills even tied it in the first quarter when McCoy made two runs totaling 64 yards, including a 27-yard scoring run for the Bills' first touchdown in a first quarter this season.

But Peterman threw his third interception to Tre Boston while getting planted on his back by Bosa, and Allen then caught his first touchdown pass since the Chargers' opener on a beautiful back-shoulder throw by Rivers.

Los Angeles took a 47-10 lead in the third quarter and got many of its regulars off the field in the second half to rest for its Thanksgiving game at Dallas.


Bills: Buffalo played without starting LT Cordy Glenn and WR Jordan Matthews, who sat out with a knee injury. ... The Bills lost new WR Kelvin Benjamin to a right knee injury after a 20-yard catch on their opening drive. ... S Micah Hyde injured his knee early in the second half.

Chargers: LT Russell Okung left the field gingerly in the second quarter, but missed only two snaps. ... WR Travis Benjamin was sidelined by a strained abdominal muscle.


Rivers spent the week in the NFL's concussion protocol after reporting symptoms on Monday , but he was cleared in time to keep alive his streak of consecutive starts since the 2006 opener. The veteran went 21 of 33 before Kellen Clemens played the fourth quarter.


Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka set an NFL record by making his 13th consecutive field goal of 50 yards or longer during the third quarter. He also tied the franchise record with his sixth 50-yard field goal of the season.


Bills: At Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Chargers: At Dallas Cowboys on Thursday.