Patriots

Did Von Miller trade impact Patriots' NFL trade deadline plans?

Patriots

The Los Angeles Rams may have made the most significant move of the NFL trade deadline by acquiring All-Pro pass rusher Von Miller from the Denver Broncos.

The Patriots don't play the Rams or Broncos this season, though. So why should New England fans care about Miller going to L.A.?

As Patriots Insider Phil Perry explained Tuesday on a new Patriots Talk Podcast, every NFL trade has consequences -- and Denver dealing Miller may have made the team wary of parting ways with cornerback Kyle Fuller.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Patriots standing pat at trade deadline sends a message | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"One reason why you might want to care a little bit -- a smidge -- about the Von Miller trade is not because he ends up in L.A. and the Broncos lose a good pass rusher, but the Broncos ate a ton of money in trading away Von Miller for the two picks they got," Perry explained to co-host Tom E. Curran. "And I wonder if that made them reluctant to eat a lot more money in dealing Kyle Fuller.

"Kyle Fuller was one of the better corners available on the market. He was a guy that I would think, had the circumstances been a little different and had the Patriots had a little more money, if he cost a little bit less, they may have been interested in."Perry recently listed Fuller, a two-time Pro Bowler, as one of five potential cornerback trade targets for the Patriots, who traded away starting corner Stephon Gilmore and lost slot corner Jonathan Jones to a season-ending injury.

 

Fuller is making $9.5 million this season, though, and New England has under $3 million in cap space after its busy offseason. So, the Broncos would have had to pay a significant portion of Fuller's deal to make a trade work -- which they may have been less inclined to do after agreeing to pay $9 million of Miller's $9.7 million salary this season.

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"The Patriots were probably limited in any trades they could have made because they're pretty tight up against it in terms of their salary cap," Perry said. "Kyle Fuller was one of the more expensive guys who was pretty clearly out there. The Broncos have been looking to trade this guy. But he wasn't traded today, and I think part of that is because he's pretty expensive.

"He's on a $9 million base salary this year, so you've got to have $4.5 (million)-ish to be able to take him on unless the Broncos are willing to eat money. But again, they just ate a bagful on Von Miller."

Was missing out Fuller necessarily a bad thing, though -- especially after New England's secondary held up in a Week 8 win over Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers?

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"To me, the Patriots didn't necessarily need to make a trade," Curran said. "They should have enough in-house to get where we all thought they might be able to get to in 2021, and that's the playoffs.

"So, no matter if you have nagging concerns about their ability at the cornerback position -- I don't think that should hold them hostage."

Curran and Perry also shared their reaction to Deshaun Watson not being traded, assessed the state of the AFC post-deadline and much more. Check out the full podcast below: