The Patriots are running a major trade deficit so far in the 2019 offseason.
The list of exports is a mile long.
Coaches like Brian Flores, Josh Boyer, Brendan Daly, Chad O’Shea, Jerry Schuplinski and (what the hell, might as well) Greg Schiano. Players like Trey Flowers, Trent Brown, Chris Hogan, Rob Gronkowski, Cordarrelle Patterson, Dwayne Allen, Malcom Brown, La’Adrian Waddle and Adrian Clayborn.
The imports? Few and — excepting defensive end Michael Bennett and linebackers coach Jerod Mayo — names generally unrecognizable like Terrence Brooks, Bruce Ellington, Cedrick Lang, Matt LaCosse, Maurice Harris and Mike Pennel.
Free agency’s first wave came and went. The second wave came and went. The Patriots just sat under their umbrella, reading John Grisham, listening to the seagulls.
There are no games today. Or this Sunday. There are actually 159 sleeps before they get started.
And there’s a draft in which an assortment of players a couple of years removed from their Senior Prom will be hailed as possible solutions to the voids left by a Hall of Fame player like Gronkowski.
And there will be a seismic trade. It’s inevitable. Mistaking the Patriots idleness for complacency would be a mistake.
If every goon with internet access (myself included) can see they need to bolster the offense around Tom Brady and Julian Edelman then Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio do too.
When the inevitable blockbuster comes — and the best bet on timing for that is around the draft — there will be a measure of, “See?! All fixed!”
But I’m dubious they can make enough moves to tip the trade deficit into a surplus. Which is why, coming off an un-Patriotic 11-5 regular season in 2018 — you need a busload of faith to squint at the ultrasound of this team in the womb and say it’s developing nicely.
The team that walked off the field in Atlanta is long gone already. And the one that will take the field to defend in September is far from ready.
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