Patriots

Patriots reportedly still in the market for a receiver; who can they target?

Patriots reportedly still in the market for a receiver; who can they target?

The New England Patriots seemingly are hell-bent on getting Tom Brady as many weapons as possible.

Despite sending a 2020 second-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for Mohamed Sanu, the Patriots are "still in the market for a receiver" ahead of Tuesday's NFL trade deadline, FOX Sports' Jay Glazer reported Monday morning.

The Patriots still are relatively thin at wide receiver after sending Josh Gordon to injured reserve and dumping Demaryius Thomas and Antonio Brown earlier this season. 

Julian Edelman, Sanu and Phillip Dorsett are the only non-rookie receivers on the active roster, so Brady certainly wouldn't mind adding another seasoned pass-catcher.

What are New England's options, you ask? Here are five wide receivers whose names have come up as potential trade targets:

1. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
2. Robby Anderson, New York Jets
3. DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins
4. Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles
5. Paul Richardson, Washington Redskins

Green is the most talented player on that list, and CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora recently reported the Patriots could "make a run at" the seven-time Pro Bowler.

Green likely would demand a high price tag, though, and has yet to play in a game this season as he recovers from an ankle injury.

Anderson and Parker both have upside as young, talented players on bad teams, but it seems unlikely the Jets or Dolphins would deal either player to the AFC East rival Patriots without asking for a king's ransom.

That leaves Agholor, the Eagles' athletic but inconsistent wideout, and Richardson, who is Washington's third-leading receiver this season and would be nothing more than a depth add for New England.

There's also the possibility the Patriots look to upgrade at tight end instead, as they reportedly are interested in the Cincinnati Bengals' Tyler Eifert and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers O.J. Howard.

The trade deadline is at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, so Bill Belichick has just one day left to make up his mind.

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Jacoby Brissett on sharing a QB room with Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Patriots Talk Podcast: Jacoby Brissett on sharing a QB room with Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo

The New England Patriots once had a quarterback group featuring Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Jacoby Brissett. All three were starters this past season in the NFL and one will be playing in the Super Bowl.

And as all New England fans know, it isn't Brady.

Yes, in 2020, Garoppolo will get his first crack as a Super Bowl starter when his San Francisco 49ers take the field against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Miami. Garoppolo already has two rings as a backup for the Patriots, but he now will get a chance to earn one himself.

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Ahead of Garoppolo's biggest matchup, Tom E. Curran caught up his former teammate, Brissett, to discuss Garoppolo's success with the 49ers.

Click here to listen and subscribe to Tom Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: 

And when Curran asked Brissett point-blank if he was proud of Garoppolo, Brissett didn't hesitate to answer. 

No question. You know, just to see, like, where he was ... I mean, we were together what, three years ago? But the relationship has carried throughout and just to see how far he's come because I know some of the things he's been through. Last year, he tears his ACL. And this year, he's in the Super Bowl. It's no shock when you watch him work and go about his business and when you watch him on the field.

And why is Garoppolo finding so much success? It's hard to explain, says Brissett.

It's hard to explain. It's just Jimmy. He just somehow finds a way. I remember when we were getting ready for Arizona and he went out there and balled. And it was just like, yeah that looks right.

A lot about Garoppolo's play "looked right" during his time with the Patriots, and that's part of the reason that Bill Belichick was so reluctant to trade him. But ultimately, the deal was completed and now, Garoppolo is going to get a chance to win a title with his new team.

For more of Curran's interview with Brissett including Brissett's thoughts on sharing a QB room with Brady and Garoppolo as well as Curran and Phil Perry's thoughts on the 20th anniversary of Belichick's hiring,  check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, which drops every Tuesday and Thursday as a part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

Charlie Weis on Tom Brady's future: Why is he a free agent if he didn't want to look into it?

Charlie Weis on Tom Brady's future: Why is he a free agent if he didn't want to look into it?

MIAMI — Few know what Tom Brady has meant to the growth and development of the Patriots dynasty better than Charlie Weis. 

The former Patriots offensive coordinator, who's now working as a Sirius XM NFL Radio host, helped guide Brady from young game-manager to one of the game's greats. Together they refined the Erhardt-Perkins offensive system that's broken records.

On Radio Row on Monday afternoon, I asked Weis what he thinks will happen with Brady this offseason. Where will the 43-year-old quarterback, who's scheduled to hit free agency for the first time in his career, end up?

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"Let me give two answers to that," Weis said. "I'm just going over what I hope happens and then a practical answer, too. For the New England Patriots, I hope Tommy retires as a New England Patriot for their fans, for their owner, for the organization. I want it to look like when Eli [Manning] walked away the other day. 

"I want to be sitting in the front row — well, it used to be the front row, it'll probably be the eighth row now — I want to be sitting in that audience when they're having his announcement of retirement."

But Weis understands the reality of pro football. He understands the uncertainty involved when a player hits the market. He understands the possibility exists that the storybook ending may not be the ending for a quarterback who's scrawled dozens of fairy tales over the course of 20 years in New England.

"That being said," Weis continued, "Joe Montana left the 49ers, right? My only question, and it's rhetorical, but Tommy's an unrestricted free agent. If he didn't want to at least look into that, why would he be an unrestricted free agent? I'm just asking. It's a rhetorical question. We don't have to give an answer to that. That's not the answer that I hope happens, but, I mean, it's a worthy question to ask."

It is. Brady had the franchise tag option removed for 2020 when he and the Patriots re-worked his deal last summer. He invited the opportunity to have some autonomy over his future. As a result, he'll have a chance to gauge the market and see how teams value his services.

How many teams believe he's the quarterback who three seasons ago won the MVP? How many believe he's the quarterback who two seasons ago made key throws in the AFC title game and Super Bowl to win a sixth Lombardi? How many teams believe he's the middling quarterback his 2019 numbers suggest he might be?

By the time the NFL Combine rolls around next month, and as the league creeps closer toward the legal tampering period ahead of free agency — March 16 and 17 — that market will likely have crystallized. Both for Brady and the Patriots. 

It seems unlikely that, given the way 2019 played out, the Patriots would be willing to go beyond what they gave Brady last year — a one-year deal worth $23 million — when Brady was looking for a longer commitment. But last year the Patriots didn't have to compete with other teams for Brady's services. 

To what lengths will Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft be willing to go to ensure Brady is back? To what lengths would another ownership group be willing to go in order to win the Brady bid, improving their quarterback position and upping their profile? 

If Brady is still trying to make a decision well into the tampering period and into free agency, it puts the Patriots in an awkward position. As we pointed out last week, would the Patriots go after another quarterback in order to make sure they're covered at that spot?

If they wait and wait for Brady, chances are he could choose another team. And chances are, by then, the rest of the league's quarterback dominoes could have fallen, and the Patriots would be forced to go with Jarrett Stidham, a rookie, or a less-than-desirable free agent. 

It's a delicate dance. Emotions, dollars, legacies hang in the balance. But if Brady hits free agency, it's inevitable.

And if he didn't want to hit free agency, as Weis explained, then why would he be an unrestricted free agent?