Tyler Eifert

NFL rumors: Patriots among teams that've shown 'most interest' in Tyler Eifert

NFL rumors: Patriots among teams that've shown 'most interest' in Tyler Eifert

The New England Patriots definitely could use an upgrade at tight end before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET NFL trade deadline, and the Cincinnati Bengals have one player who would satisfy that need.

The Athletic's Jeff Howe reported Tuesday the the Patriots "are among the teams that have shown the most interest" in trading for Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert.

Eifert is in the final year of his contract and eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season. The 29-year-old veteran's career has often been plagued by injuries, but he's played in all eight of Cincinnati's games this season.

He has tallied 23 receptions for 192 yards and one touchdown in those eight games. Eifert's best performance of the year actually came Sunday in the Bengals' Week 8 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He caught six passes for 74 yards on nine targets (all season highs). 

The Patriots don't have the best depth at tight end entering Week 9. They had 38-year-old Benjamin Watson and newly acquired Eric Tomlinson active at tight end for Sunday's victory over the Cleveland Browns. New England's two other tight ends, Matt LaCosse (knee injury) and Ryan Izzo (concussion), both were inactive in Week 8.

The Bengals are 0-8 and would be smart to trade some of their veteran players in exchange for draft picks.

Follow our NFL trade deadline live blog>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NFL Rumors: Patriots interested in trading for these pass catchers before trade deadline

NFL Rumors: Patriots interested in trading for these pass catchers before trade deadline

The Patriots are taking on the Browns at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon. Be sure to tune in to NBC Sports Boston for Patriots Pregame Live at 2:30 p.m. ET, then Postgame Live immediately after the Week 8 matchup.

*****

The NFL trade deadline is rapidly approaching and the New England Patriots may not be done wheeling and dealing.

This past week, the team acquired receiver Mohamed Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a second-round pick to bolster their receiving corps. Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, they shipped pass rusher Michael Bennett to the Dallas Cowboys for a late-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Moving forward, the team may still be looking to strengthen their core as they try to make it to the Super Bowl for a fourth consecutive year. And it seems that the team could be looking to add another pass catcher to their offense and they may have a particular interest in adding a tight end.

Right now, the Patriots have four tight ends on their roster, but only the 37-year-old Ben Watson and Eric Tomlinson are healthy. If Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse aren't close to returning, the team could look to find some extra depth or even an upgrade to one of the team's weakest positions. It's also worth noting that Izzo is surprisingly generating some trade buzz, so that remains something to keep an eye on. 

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Patriots are interested in Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard. Both would offer more upside than what the Patriots currently have and the 24-year-old former first-round pick Howard could really thrive in the Patriots' offense.

That said, it's unclear whether or not the Bengals or Bucs would be willing to give up their tight ends. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting that it would take at least a third-round pick for the Bengals to move on from Eifert, and it's fair to assume that the price for Howard -- who is five years younger than Eifert and has a less extensive injury history than Eifert -- would be higher.

The Patriots may also be among those interested in Falcons tight end Austin Hooper, a talented pass catcher on a team going nowhere. However, Rapoport is reporting that the Falcons are unlikely to trade him, so he would likely cost a king's ransom if the Patriots do end up targeting him. Perhaps if the Falcons do change course, dealing with a Patriots team that gave them an early pick for Sanu would appeal to them.

As for the wide receiver position, La Canfora is reporting that the Patriots could "take a run at" Bengals receiver A.J. Green before the deadline. The Bengals don't seem to want to trade Green, but perhaps if the Patriots offer up a first-round pick or more, that could entice them to give him up.

No matter what happens, it's worth noting that the Patriots are exploring ways to add to their stable of pass catchers before Tuesday's deadline. The only question now is about whether or not they'll find a willing trade partner in the next two days.

Tom E. Curran's Patriots-Browns Preview: Hello, 8-0>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Patriots Talk Podcast: What do Pats need and what can they offer as trade deadline approaches?

Patriots Talk Podcast: What do Pats need and what can they offer as trade deadline approaches?

The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 29 and the Patriots, despite their 6-0 start, appear to have plenty of needs on offense  - wide receiver? tight end? Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry have their assessment.

2:35 - Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry rank the Patriots offensive concerns after another unimpressive performance from that side of the ball against the Giants. They begin with tight end. Next up is the running game (6:25). And finally, the wide receiver corps (12:24).

22:11 - With the trade deadline on Oct. 29, the Patriots need to determine what they need and what they have to offer. Phil and Tom discuss the picks Bill Belichick could trade away and the players at tight end and wide receiver he could target.

26:52 - Tom wonders if Michael Bennett will be traded or if he'll end up as a key member of the defense. He continues by explaining how the historic tear the Patriots defense is on is actually sustainable.

32:26 - Rob Gronkowski or Tyler Eifert: Which player will be on the Patriots roster by Thanksgiving?

LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE: 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.