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NFL Trade Deadline: Several trades we wish had happened

NFL Trade Deadline: Several trades we wish had happened

The NFL trade deadline has passed, and this was a step in the right direction for a league that's getting more and more active trade-wise. But still, there were only two trades on deadline day: Aqib Talib to the Dolphins and Leonard Williams to the Giants.

Sure, there were a bunch of players traded leading up the deadline, including Mohamed Sanu, Emmanuel Sanders, Jalen Ramsey, and Marcus Peters, but Tuesday? It was more dudline than deadline.

That said, the league could have been a hell of a lot more exciting with these moves. 

Philip Rivers to the Bills

Or really any quarterback to the Bills, for that matter. Buffalo is one of the teams that's a player or two away from being a serious contender, but when that player is a quarterback, you might as well be 10 players away. Imagine Philip Rivers in the AFC East for a couple of months, and the defensively stout Bills suddenly having an offense. 

O.J. Howard to the Patriots

The Bucs' handling of their 2017 first-round pick has been confusing. They've used him primarily as a blocker, killing his trade stock. Then, when approached by teams that would actually like to throw Howard the ball, Tampa's price was sky-high. Sure, it hurts PR-wise to sell low, but if you don't think the guy fits with your offense, what other choice do you have? Something tells me the Patriots would have found a better use for him. 

A kicker to the Patriots

The Super Bowl favorites spent deadline day swapping out kickers from the trash heap. NFL teams generally don't trade kickers, but if they did the Patriots might have a quality one. 

Melvin Gordon to the Lions

The Lions were a pleasant surprise after their 2-0-1 start, but they're just 1-3 since. They also have a doozy upcoming schedule, so if Matt Patricia wants to push for the playoffs in his second year he could use an upgrade to a backfield that lost Kerryon Johnson to IR. In case you've missed it, the Chargers are a disaster this season and Gordon hasn't exactly helped them since returning from his holdout. 

Any quarterback to the Bears

Apply everything I wrote earlier about the Bills to the Bears. 

Larry Fitzgerald to the Ravens

The Ravens had barely any cap space after trying for Marcus Peters, so they would have had to do more than just give Willie Snead a new contract. Say they figured it out, though. Lamar Jackson would have another weapon and the 36-year-old Fitzgerald would be able to take another crack at a title run late in his career. 

Jamal Adams to the Cowboys

This one was rumored leading up to the trade deadline. I don't really care about the Cowboys getting a really good safety; I just like seeing first-round picks traded, and if such a deal went down, two AFC East teams would have multiple first-round picks in 2020. Potential competition!

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One drawback to Patriots being moved from Thursday opener to Sunday night

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One drawback to Patriots being moved from Thursday opener to Sunday night

PHOENIX -- The NFL announced on Monday that it would be the Packers and Bears playing in the Thursday night season-opener in September, breaking with tradition of the last few decades where the reigning Super Bowl champion hosts the first game of the new year. 

The reasoning? This upcoming season will be the NFL's 100th, and the league felt it appropriate to pit against one another two of its most historic and iconic franchises.

"The Bears, in particular, being one of those iconic franchises, it being their 100th season, matched up against the Packers in their 101st, really seemed a great way collectively to start the season," said COO of NFL Media Hans Schroeder.

"At the same time, what I think was equally important is what the Patriots accomplished last year was incredible. What they've accomplished over the last 15-20 years has been incredible, six SB champs. So how do we still use our Sunday night, another marquee night of that weekend to make sure we don't lose that specialness of honoring a Super Bowl champion in those moments. We'll very much look to do that on Sunday and make sure that the Patriots get every bit of their due for their season last year and their six championships."

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The Patriots, who will be about seven months removed from their Super Bowl LIII win over the Rams, will play their first game of the season on the first Sunday night of the 2019 season. Their opponent that evening has not yet been revealed, though the Chiefs (last year's AFC runner-up), the Browns (a star-studded roster coming off a splashy offseason) and the Cowboys (still one of the NFL's most popular clubs) seem like logical options. 

NFL executive vice president of media Brian Rolapp explained that the decision to have two of the league's oldest clubs play in the opener was made well in advance of the Super Bowl. So for anyone thinking that there was a "isn't this getting a little old?" line of thinking when it came to opening the season in Foxboro yet again, the league said that was not the case.

"This decision was taken really well in advance of the season," Rolapp said. "When we started talking about this [that was] before we knew who was going to be in the Super Bowl. You only get one 100th season, and how do you make that special?"

For the Patriots, there is one tangible drawback by not playing on the opening Thursday night of the year. 

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Playing on Sunday night instead of Thursday means that the Patriots will likely (unless they play on Monday night of Week 2) have a week or less to prep for their second game. Had they played on Thursday night, they would've benefitted from an extended break between contests. 

For every long week there's a short week, for every short week there's a long week, Bill Belichick is fond of saying when asked about his team playing Thursday night games on short rest. But with the league's announcement on Monday, that line of thinking doesn't really apply. 

Is the difference of a few days in September going to decide how well the Patriots play this season? Is it going to keep them from making Super Bowl LIV? No.

But as the league celebrate its 100th birthday in Chicago, the Patriots will miss out on one advantage of winning the Super Bowl the year prior: a guaranteed extra few days of rest before Game No. 2.

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Cordarrelle Patterson was useful, but Patriots will survive his departure

Cordarrelle Patterson was useful, but Patriots will survive his departure

Do they not have internet access in Chicago? Didn’t anyone out there google Cordarelle Patterson’s 2018 stats?

How else to explain Patterson — a wide receiver who’s not great at catching passes, a kickoff returner in a league trying to banish the kickoff return — agreeing to a two-year, $10 million deal with the Bears?

That’s what he’s done though. So good luck to the Bears.

But even better luck to Patterson.

Nobody should have an issue with Patterson’s 2018 performance in New England, nor the fact he’s going elsewhere for more dough.

Even though he had his limitations as a receiver (he only had 21 receptions), he found a way to impact the Patriots offense. 

He became an emergency running back when injuries at that position hit critical mass. He ran sweeps and caught screens and his mere presence on the field as a large man capable of high speed made defenses account for him every time he went in motion. Just in case.

Patterson also brought back 23 kickoffs with an average of 28.8 per return and a TD.

But Patterson is 28 and he isn’t going to morph into a smooth and reliable wideout capable of being any more than a No. 3. He is what he is. Maybe the Bears are fine with that and see him as that outside complement that can drag coverage downfield with him and be a factor on sweeps.

But creativity will be the order of the day when it comes to Patterson. Otherwise, you’re not going to get much bang at all for those bucks.

Does his departure “hurt” the Patriots? Not really. He’s a bit player. A complement. A garnish. The Patriots have much, much, much bigger fish to fry with their pass-catching personnel than re-signing a guy who doesn’t catch passes so good.

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