An alternate route: Potential Patriots trade targets at wide receiver
An alternate route: Patriots trade targets at wide receiver
As we've detailed here, the Patriots haven't landed a go-to wide receiver in free agency yet. If the quick solution in free agency doesn't come in free agency, the Patriots could look at other means to acquire a legitimate pass-catcher. Here are some potential targets they could look to bring in via trade, similar to Brandin Cooks two years ago.
Nelson Agholor, Eagles (26, 6-0, 198 pounds)
Contract Status: $9.387M in 2019 playing on his fifth-year option. Free agent in 2020.
Pros: His price tag is part of the $38.5M the Eagles have committed to wide receivers in 2019 – highest in the league. That means Philly – which just traded for DeSean Jackson and already has a fat deal with Alshon Jeffery – could be looking to unburden itself. Caught 126 regular season passes the past two years and was a killer in SB52.
Cons: The Patriots would be giving up an asset and running the risk of getting nothing but a compensatory pick back for Agholor while paying a big sum in 2019 for him. #MadeYourBed #LieInIt
AJ Green, Bengals (30, 6-4, 201 pounds)
Contract Status: $15.1M base salary in the final year of his five-year, $60M deal.
Pros: One of the league’s elite receivers, his situation is similar to Agholor’s except that he will cost more. Would bring to the Patriots something they don’t have – outside speed/height/explosiveness combo.
Cons: He’s got the stink on him from playing for a loser franchise. He’s 30. He’s not four times the player Julian Edelman is. Actually, Edelman is his superior in every category except height. He also has stated he wants to stay in Cincy so you must question his sanity.
Tyler Boyd, Bengals (24, 6-2, 203 pounds)
Contract Status: $980K base salary in final year of rookie deal
Pros: Low cost, can work in the slot, coming off a 76-catch, 1,028-yard season in which he had seven touchdowns. Originally a second-round pick in 2016 out of Pitt.
Cons: Boyd’s indicated he wants to stay in Cincy so that, coupled with his production last season, may make the Bengals reticent to part with him for anything less than his original draft status.
Josh Doctson, Washington (26, 6-2, 202 pounds)
Contract Status: First-rounder in 2016, due $1.82M this season. Fifth-year option decision due May 2.
Pros: Very good player at TCU with untapped pro potential. Had a 41-inch vertical, a nearly 13-foot broad jump and a 4.08 short shuttle at the Combine. A high-pointing master who has shown a capacity to Moss.
Cons: He could be Aaron Dobson. Or Brian Tyms.
Jarius Wright, Panthers (29, 5-10, 190 pounds)
Contract Status: $1.5M base for 2019, March 12 deadline in 2020 to pick up $1.9M salary for next year.
Pros: Really productive inside player who’s a handful to deal with on third down. Even though his 43 catches for 447 were career highs last season, Wright is the kind of player whose production could jump in a more controlled and precise offense like New England’s.
Cons: He’s a low-cost, well-liked and valuable player for the Panthers so while he’s probably not untouchable, it would take some convincing to get it done.
Laquon Treadwell, Vikings (23, 6-2, 221 pounds)
Contract Status: $1.8M base, decision on fifth-year option due on May 2.
Pros: Unreal college prospect taken 23rd in 2016 but has amassed just 56 catches in 40 NFL games so far. Blocked out by Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen in Minnesota, he works hard and doesn’t drop the ball but he’s “got to get out of his own way…” according to Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.
Cons: The Patriots would certainly not be picking up his fifth-year option so he’d become a free agent after the season which means he’d be a one-year rental if they lost him and the Pats would burn a pick.
Austin Carr, Saints (25, 6-1, 195 pounds)
Contract Status: $645K, expires after this season.
Pros: Undrafted player from Northwestern who was originally with the Patriots and played really well. Works in the slot and he’s better than the slot depth they have on the roster (Braxton Berrios).
Cons: He’s only got nine catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns so far with New Orleans. He may not cost much, but in a system like the Saints which is deep and competitive, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find he’s a part of their plans and not very available.
Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos (32, 5-11, 180 pounds)
Contract Status: $10.15M base with $1.5M guaranteed that Denver has already picked up. Free agent at the end of the year.
Pros: Still productive. He had 71 catches for 868 yards in just 12 games last year. He’s been a great pickup for Denver and still seems to have grip on his tires.
Cons: Aging. Costly. Has missed eight games over the past two seasons. Denver might not be down with the idea of trading anyone to the Patriots.
Sterling Shepard, Giants (25, 5-10, 194 pounds)
Contract Status: $1.26M base salary in the final year of his contract.
Pros: Really talented, sure-handed slot that has caught 190 passes in three seasons with 14 touchdowns. Some people (ahem) thought the Patriots should have drafted him as an Amendola/Edelman understudy when he came out of Oklahoma.
Cons: He’s the Giants’ best receiver now that Beckham is gone. Letting him go would go over … poorly.