A.J. Green

NFL Rumors: Patriots interested in trading for these pass catchers before trade deadline

NFL Rumors: Patriots interested in trading for these pass catchers before trade deadline

The Patriots are taking on the Browns at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon. Be sure to tune in to NBC Sports Boston for Patriots Pregame Live at 2:30 p.m. ET, then Postgame Live immediately after the Week 8 matchup.

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The NFL trade deadline is rapidly approaching and the New England Patriots may not be done wheeling and dealing.

This past week, the team acquired receiver Mohamed Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a second-round pick to bolster their receiving corps. Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, they shipped pass rusher Michael Bennett to the Dallas Cowboys for a late-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Moving forward, the team may still be looking to strengthen their core as they try to make it to the Super Bowl for a fourth consecutive year. And it seems that the team could be looking to add another pass catcher to their offense and they may have a particular interest in adding a tight end.

Right now, the Patriots have four tight ends on their roster, but only the 37-year-old Ben Watson and Eric Tomlinson are healthy. If Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse aren't close to returning, the team could look to find some extra depth or even an upgrade to one of the team's weakest positions. It's also worth noting that Izzo is surprisingly generating some trade buzz, so that remains something to keep an eye on. 

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Patriots are interested in Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard. Both would offer more upside than what the Patriots currently have and the 24-year-old former first-round pick Howard could really thrive in the Patriots' offense.

That said, it's unclear whether or not the Bengals or Bucs would be willing to give up their tight ends. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting that it would take at least a third-round pick for the Bengals to move on from Eifert, and it's fair to assume that the price for Howard -- who is five years younger than Eifert and has a less extensive injury history than Eifert -- would be higher.

The Patriots may also be among those interested in Falcons tight end Austin Hooper, a talented pass catcher on a team going nowhere. However, Rapoport is reporting that the Falcons are unlikely to trade him, so he would likely cost a king's ransom if the Patriots do end up targeting him. Perhaps if the Falcons do change course, dealing with a Patriots team that gave them an early pick for Sanu would appeal to them.

As for the wide receiver position, La Canfora is reporting that the Patriots could "take a run at" Bengals receiver A.J. Green before the deadline. The Bengals don't seem to want to trade Green, but perhaps if the Patriots offer up a first-round pick or more, that could entice them to give him up.

No matter what happens, it's worth noting that the Patriots are exploring ways to add to their stable of pass catchers before Tuesday's deadline. The only question now is about whether or not they'll find a willing trade partner in the next two days.

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Report: Potential Patriots trade target WR A.J. Green won't play until after trade deadline

Report: Potential Patriots trade target WR A.J. Green won't play until after trade deadline

Well, it looks like it may have just gotten harder for the New England Patriots to add a potential impact player at the wide receiver position ahead of the 2019 NFL trade deadline.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cincinnati Bengals aren't expecting wide receiver A.J. Green to return to the field until after the league's Oct. 29 trade deadline. Green has missed the entire season while recovering from an ankle injury he suffered during offseason workouts.

There had been speculation that Green could draw interest from receiver-needy teams across the league. And that would include the Patriots, who were rumored to be interested in him in recent weeks. That notion certainly makes sense. The Patriots (6-0) are desperate for receiver help while Green is one of the best receivers in the NFL (when healthy) and is playing for an 0-6 Bengals team.

Seeing Cincinnati move the 31-year-old veteran and his expiring contract to get assets would be a sensible move for them as they look to rebuild. And seeing the Patriots sacrifice assets to patch one of their biggest weaknesses wouldn't be a surprise either.

That said, head coach Zac Taylor has been adamant that the Bengals won't be moving Green. And the veteran receiver has expressed an admiration for Larry Fitzgerald, who has played his entire career with the Arizona Cardinals, so he didn't seem thrilled by the idea of being traded either. But he did acknowledge that he could be traded and is "prepared for anything."

With Green now out beyond the trade deadline, it would further complicate an already unlikely-looking trade. Teams will be wary of his medical issues and without seeing him on the field, they aren't likely to pay the price it would likely cost to get the Bengals to ship out Green.

The Patriots will likely look elsewhere for potential receiver help. While Green would have been an ideal target, it just doesn't seem that he will be on the move unless the Bengals change their minds about moving him or change their asking price for his services.

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NFL rumors: What is Bengals WR A.J. Green's trade value with deadline nearing?

NFL rumors: What is Bengals WR A.J. Green's trade value with deadline nearing?

The Cincinnati Bengals are one of two winless NFL teams entering Week 7, and all eyes will be on them as the Oct. 29 trade deadline approaches.

The Bengals need a roster re-tool, and one way to accelerate that process is trading veteran players for draft picks. One player the team should look to trade is wide receiver A.J. Green, who's in the final year of his contract and able to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season.

Green has missed all of the Bengals' six games this season because of an ankle injury. Any team interested in acquiring him would have the difficult task of predicting how quickly he could learn a new playbook and return to 100 percent physically. Green recently updated his status, and it doesn't sound like he'll be returning this weekend.

So, if the Bengals decide to trade Green, what would his value be?

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler recently spoke to some personnel employees around the league. The chances of Cincinnati getting a first-round pick for Green don't seem too high.

One NFC personnel evaluator I spoke to said, "Considering the recent injury history, I think [Cincinnati] can fetch a second-round pick for him," citing his immense talent as worthy of a Day 2 pick.

A few other personnel people agreed, adding that teams can always sweeten a deal with a fourth-to-fifth-round swap for future years. But the consensus is that he's not a first-round player right now unless a team gets aggressive. (Watch: The Rams will blow this thinking out of the water, offering three 1s and conditional Les Snead hair product.)

One team with an obvious need for a wide receiver is the New England Patriots.

Veteran wideouts Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett both have dealt with injuries in recent weeks. These injuries forced the Patriots to roll with Julian Edelman and two rookies (Gunner Olszewski and Jakobi Meyers) at wide receiver for the entire second half of last Thursday's Week 6 win over the New York Giants. Dorsett should return soon, but the depth and experience at the position remains unideal.

We also can't leave out the fact that New England is getting very little production in the passing game from the tight end position. Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse have combined for just 13 receptions, 169 receiving yards and one touchdown through six games. Injuries also are a factor here, as LaCosse is nursing a knee injury and Izzo reportedly was evaluated for a concussion Friday. Veteran tight end Benjamin Watson was re-signed on Tuesday, but at 38 years old, he shouldn't be expected to be a major force in the offense.

The Patriots are projected to have more than 10 picks (including compensatory selections) in the 2020 NFL Draft, giving them plenty of assets to make a trade before the deadline. Green is a great player when healthy, but his recent injury woes are a legitimate concern. That said, he's still a good trade target to pursue at the right price.

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