The New England Patriots won’t be able to pull off this trade before the end of the season, but it’s an acquisition they could make in the offseason.
In a “hypothetical” trades list by Bleacher Report’s Chris Rolling, Rolling proposes possible deals if the trade deadline did not exist. One of those fantasy trades involves the likes of the Patriots acquiring wide receiver Allen Robinson from the Chicago Bears.
The Patriots are currently 8-4 and doing just fine with their roster as is. However, the idea of a former Pro Bowl wide receiver catching passes from rising rookie quarterback Mac Jones could lift New England to another level — something that’s a possibility given Robinson will be a free agent in the offseason.
“Playing on the franchise tag for the 4-7 Bears, Robinson seems to have one foot out the door after repeated failures by the team to get him a long-term deal,” says Rolling. “A bad offense has targeted him just 50 times, which he’s turned into 30 catches for 339 yards and one touchdown.
Were there no trade deadline, the Bears—with the understanding that playoffs aren’t happening and Robinson is likely gone—could offload him for a draft pick. Dealing him to the AFC East-leading New England Patriots would be a brilliant move for both parties.
The 7-4 Patriots have both the playoffs and the development of first-round passer Mac Jones to consider. Robison would become the No. 1 option on a depth chart that includes Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor. The attention he’d command from defenses would open things up for all involved.”
Robinson Likely to Leave Bears in Offseason
The 28-year-old Robinson is truly in purgatory on a bad franchise such as the Bears. Not only is Chicago currently in the midst of a rebuild with rookie quarterback Justin Fields, they appear on the verge of firing their head coach, Matt Nagy, at any moment.
Despite his individual success, Robinson has never truly been on a stable franchise with a true franchise quarterback. Given a chance in New England, the eight-year veteran would immediately walk into a situation as the unquestioned No. 1 receiver.
He would also have the opportunity to win a playoff game for the first time in his career. Robinson was a member of the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars team that advanced to the AFC Championship Game, but he only played in one game that season due to injury.
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Patriots Still Looking for True No. 1 Receiver
While head coach Bill Belichick had already made major moves during free agency last offseason for receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor this offseason, it’s clear that the Patriots are still lacking that true No. 1 option.
The Patriots had made a play for Odell Beckham Jr. when he was a free agent in early November. While New England struck out in their play for the former Pro Bowl receiver, it showed that Belichick is still looking for a star receiver.
Considering Belichick’s well-known inability to draft and develop wide receivers — former first-round pick N’Keal Harry is the latest example — signing Robinson as a free agent is a possibility, especially when considering the Patriots will have over $29 million in available cap space with 48 players already under contract for the 2022 season.
The Patriots may not be able to pull off a trade for Robinson, but they will have the opportunity to sign him in free agency.