Patriots

Why Falcons traded Mohamed Sanu to Patriots, according to Dan Quinn

Why Falcons traded Mohamed Sanu to Patriots, according to Dan Quinn

Bill Belichick isn't going to share the New England Patriots' reasoning for acquiring Mohamed Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons.

Fortunately, his trade partner is a bit more forthcoming.

During an interview with 92.9 The Game on Wednesday morning, Falcons coach Dan Quinn explained why Atlanta pulled the trigger on trading Sanu to New England in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick.

"Quite honestly, it was just a good opportunity for the team, and we'll always make decisions based on that," Quinn said. "We're always looking to develop guys, and that's Calvin (Ridley) and Russ(ell) Gage. It was just a good opportunity for the team."

Put another way: The 1-6 Falcons are waving the white flag, and trading Sanu allowed them to get a quality draft asset while affording more opportunity to their young wide receivers.

Sanu's 33 receptions through seven games in Atlanta trailed only Austin Hooper and Julio Jones. The 24-year-old Ridley was right behind him with 29 catches, and likely will pick up some of Sanu's targets.

Based on Quinn's comments, the Falcons also want to get Gage more involved; the 23-year-old LSU product has just four catches for 44 yards on the season.

With 27-year-old Justin Hardy also in the wide receiver mix, Sanu was expendable for Atlanta, and the team found a solid trade partner in the Patriots, who get a proven commodity to bolster their thin wide receiver corps under Tom Brady.

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Rich Eisen on 'positively absurd' Spygate 2.0

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Patriots Talk Podcast: Rich Eisen on 'positively absurd' Spygate 2.0

Like most of the rest of the NFL world, Rich Eisen of the NFL Network is amazed that we are talking about what has become known as Spygate 2.0 - the Patriots again being accused of taping an opposing teams' sideline - and the repercussions surrounding it. 

He joined Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast to provide a little national perspective on the controversy and his first reaction was how "positively absurd" it was that the Pats are being accused of the same behavior that they were punished for back in 2007.

"If the Patriots did attempt something like this again, how remarkably brazen it would be?" Eisen told Curran. "I couldn't imagine being in that press box and seeing that happen? That's what makes it so positively absurd. How does anybody that represents anything to do with the Patriots not know you're not supposed to shoot the other team's sideline?''

Eisen predicted that the Patriots' admission of a "unintended oversight" in taping the sideline of the Cincinnati Bengals while they were playing the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday and Bill Belichick's adamant denial of knowing anything about the operation, won't prevent a hefty fine from being leveled by the NFL against the team. 

I'm sure there are a lot of people who are breathing fire at One Patriot Place," Eisen said. "Even if it was a clueless botched operation, I think the Patriots get fined. They still shot video of another teams' sideline and bottom line is that's a no-no, an absolute no-no.

"I'm assuming its a hefty fine for the team that's coming."

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Eisen's comments come near the end of the episode. Former Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel joins Curran earlier and talks about how the original Spygate accusations back in '07 were a motivating factor for a Patriots team that went on to a 16-0 regular season.

"We were shocked at how it took on a life of its own," Cassel recalled. "It honestly was comical the way they took it, with people thinking we had it all figured out, we filmed them and we knew all their signs. The best thing that possibly could've happened is we came out for the rest of the season after the knowledge that Spygate took place and everyone saying 'That's why they won their Super Bowls' and we just dominated." 

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Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots continue to slide in AFC

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Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots continue to slide in AFC

Through 13 weeks, it’s become clear that there are six good teams in the AFC and one very good, maybe great team. The Ravens are a complete team: offense, defense, special teams, coaching, situationally smart, tough, you name it.

Everybody else has the flaw that they’ll either need to cover up or overcome in the playoffs to get past Baltimore.