NFL trade deadline 2019: Analyzing 5 of Patriots' most impactful deals
The 2019 NFL trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, and it's one of the last opportunities teams have to make substantial improvements to their roster before the playoffs in January.
The Patriots last week traded for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons, adding to the team's growing list of pre-deadline deals in recent seasons.
Let's look at five of the most impactful trade deadline moves in Patriots history.
Oct. 5, 2010: Randy Moss traded to Vikings
Patriots receive: 2011 third-round draft pick
Vikings receive: Randy Moss, 2012 seventh-round draft pick
Randy Moss was acquired by New England from the Oakland Raiders in 2007, and for the price of a fourth-round pick the veteran gave the Pats arguably the greatest wide receiver season ever. Moss hauled in a record 23 touchdown passes in 2007 as the Patriots cruised to a 16-0 regular season. Even though Moss never won a Super Bowl with Tom Brady, their connection remains one of the most impressive we've ever seen from a QB-WR duo. His Pats tenure wasn't long, though. He was traded to the Vikings in 2010.
Tom E. Curran's take: After Moss' post-opener podium rant at the start of the season, you figured he might be on thin ice. We just didn't realize how thin. In Week 2, Moss caught just two of the 10 passes Tom Brady sent his way (one was that bomb over Darrelle Revis) and Brady was picked twice throwing his direction. That pretty much cooked his goose. The Patriots had become overly reliant on the downfield attack and - with two promising first-year tight ends in the mix - they figured they could let Moss go. It was stunning when they did, but it all made sense when they traded soon after for Deion Branch, the offense transformed, the team went 14-2 and Brady was named unanimous MVP.
Nov. 1, 2012: Aqib Talib traded to Patriots
Patriots receive: Aqib Talib, 2013 seventh-round draft pick
Buccaneers receive: 2013 fourth-round draft pick
Aqib Talib provided tremendous value for a Patriots defense that needed additional depth and elite talent in the secondary. After about one-and-a-half seasons in New England, the Pats let Talib walk in free agency as the Denver Broncos signed him to a six-year, $57 million contract.
Tom E. Curran's take: The Patriots so obviously had to make a deal for a cornerback in 2012. Still, Talib was serving a four-game suspension for testing positive for a PED (he said it was Adderall) when the Pats acquired him and his checkered history made him seem like a diceroll. But it was worth making because the Patriots secondary was a sieve. Talib turned out to be a dream Patriot and if he hadn't gotten taken out in consecuitve AFCCGs by injury, the Pats might have snuck another Lombardi onto their mantle.
Oct. 25, 2016: Kyle Van Noy traded to Patriots
Patriots receive: Kyle Van Noy, 2017 seventh-round draft pick
Lions receive: 2017 sixth-round draft pick
This is one of the best trades in franchise history from a pure value standpoint. For the mere cost of a sixth-round pick, the Patriots found a linebacker who would become an important part of a defense that's played in three consecutive Super Bowl titles. Van Noy became a full-time starter in 2017 and his 2019 campaign could be the best of his career (judging by the first eight games).
Tom E. Curran's take: The Patriots were dinged up at linebacker when they added Van Noy with both Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins dealing with injuries. Van Noy seemed a little superfluous when he was added. Even though he was a really good athlete, the team seemed set at the spot. Less than a week later, when the Patriots shipped out Jamie Collins, the "Ohhhhh...." moment arose.
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Oct. 31, 2016: Jamie Collins traded to Browns
Patriots receive: Conditional 2017 third-round draft pick (later traded to New Orleans)
Browns receive: Jamie Collins
Collins tallied a then-career high 5.5 sacks in just 12 games in 2015, but that impressive play failed to carry over into 2016 and he was traded to the Browns after just seven games. The Browns, in 2017, signed him to a four-year, $50 million contract that ultimately didn't work out for the team. The Patriots brought back Collins over the summer after the Browns released him, and he's currently a legit DPOY candidate with a career-high six sacks in just eight games. Collins is playing the best football of his career in 2019, and it's one reason why the Pats defense has been so dominant.
Tom E. Curran's take: As with Moss, the deal made way more sense in retrospect. Collins was a rare find and Belichick had loosely compared his unique skill to Lawrence Taylor just a year earlier. But Collins was pretty much responsible for two TDs in the Patriots' 2015 loss in the AFCCG. And when the 2016 season began, he suddenly seemed to be the guy out of position too often when the Patriots defense was getting gashed. After playing sparingly in a win over the Bills, I remembered seeing Collins sprint from the field and into the locker room barely after the clock ran out. Within two days, his time with the Pats had run out as well. Until this past offseason when a more mature (and richer) Collins returned to the team as a free agent.
Oct. 31, 2017: Jimmy Garoppolo traded to 49ers
Patriots receive: 2018 second-round draft pick
49ers receive: Jimmy Garoppolo
Garoppolo was easily the best QB the Patriots had drafted after Brady, but he was too talented to sit on the roster as a backup. Both teams have fared well since making the deal. Brady has played in two more Super Bowls (winning one) over that span, while Garoppolo has led the 49ers to a 7-0 start this season (he's 14-2 as a starter in his career). Could the Patriots have received more in return for Jimmy G? Perhaps, but trading him to San Francisco ensured he wouldn't have too many chances to stick it to the Patriots on the field.
Tom E. Curran's take: The Patriots way of thinking in NOT dealing Jimmy Garoppolo before the season was insurance. What if Tom Brady at 40 didn't look like Tom Brady? What if he got hurt? So many people insisted Garoppolo wasn't getting dealt that when he did, the news was surprising. The meager return made it stunning. But the Patriots had no plan for how to keep Garoppolo and Brady into 2018 since Garoppolo wasn't sticking around as a "bridge" quarterback. They couldn't part with Brady who was still playing brilliantly. So they did right by Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan, son of Belichick's coaching buddy Mike Shanahan, by packaging him up nice and leaving him on the Niners doorstep.
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