Stricken by injury on the offensive side of the ball, the New England Patriots may be in the market for a receiver with the NFL trade deadline looming.
With reports that New England is scouring the receiver market in hopes of bringing in a star player at the position, the idea might not be as far-fetched as it seems.
The solution for the Patriots to add quality depth at the position may be to explore a trade. One of the more promising options is Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers.
Allen sounded off on the Chargers situation on Monday, calling the team sad on Twitter. To make matters worse, the Chargers have lost three of their last four games and are quickly headed towards disaster.
Defensively, the Chargers are banged up with star safety Derwin James still sidelined and an ailing d-line. Though trading Allen may come at a hefty cost, the Chargers could look to move towards a more rush-heavy offense with larger involvement from its tight ends.
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This Trade Make Sense Offensively for New England
The Patriots have struggled to run the ball with injuries in the trenches and at fullback and tight end. That has led to a pass-heavy offense and the overuse of some veteran receivers.
With so many snaps, the risk for injury naturally rises and has depleted the Patriots receiver unit. Julian Edelman missed time with a rib injury, Phillip Dorsett was sidelined by a hamstring strain, and now Josh Gordon may be absent as he recovers from a knee injury.
Allen, who has previously praised the Patriots system, would add a dynamic ability to an already explosive offense. He already has 40 catches for 503 yards and three touchdowns in 2019, all numbers that would lead the Patriots.
In addition, having Allen along with Dorsett and Gordon would allow single coverage somewhere over the middle for Tom Brady to exploit. This means the move wouldn’t just benefit Allen, but also the entire Patriots offense.
Is a Trade Realistic?
If New England uncharacteristically goes after a star receiver at the trade deadline, they might be forced to buy low or trade away assets to free up cap space. The Patriots have just $3.3 million in cap space available without making a trade to free up space.
If the Patriots were to pursue Allen, it would be at a steep cost given his $10 million cap hit. Along with a high draft pick, the Patriots may choose to offload Michael Bennett (additional ~$2.5 million in cap space) and may even have to add one more player to sweeten the deal. That doesn’t factor in the customary high draft pick New England may sacrifice in the deal, much like they did a couple offseasons ago with Brandin Cooks.
A trade for Keenan Allen would not only be foolish for the Patriots to make, but it just isn’t possible with the salary cap numbers not matching. With New England getting N’Keal Harry back from injured reserve and both Gordon and Dorsett on the mend, the Patriots should stand pat at the receiver position with the deadline approaching.