Promising Patriots Rookie Should Be Traded, Says NFL Analyst

Getty Rhamondre Stevenson

The New England Patriots have already traded one running back this year; would they trade another one — especially after James White went down with a season-ending hip injury in the Week 3 loss to the New Orleans Saints?

There are some NFL writers who believe it’s not only a possibility, it’s a recommended course of action for the Patriots.

Bleacher Report’s Joe Tansey has rookie Rhamondre Stevenson in his should-be-traded crosshairs.

Tansey: ‘Stevenson’s Best Chance for Playing Time’ Is With ‘a Team Not Named the Patriots’

Tansey has a running trade block for every NFL team. Here’s why he believes Stevenson should be the player traded from the Patriots:

Stevenson can’t make a great case for playing time at the moment. It is clear that the rookie’s Week 1 fumble cost him time on the field and even the active gameday roster. It may seem too early to give up on a rookie running back, but the Patriots may not have him shoulder any responsibilities at the position even with White out injured. Belichick trusts Bolden more as the backup to Harris and Bolden could be used as the primary pass-catcher out of the backfield. It would also make a ton of sense for the Patriots to go after Marlon Mack on the trade market. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Indianapolis Colts are considering a trade of the running back. New England should have been one of the first teams to ring the Colts about Mack’s availability since he would bring experience as a No. 1 running back to the depth chart behind Harris. Stevenson could be used as a trade chip in any potential negotiations for Mack or another veteran running back. Either way. it appears that Stevenson’s best chance for playing time right now will come from a team not named the Patriots.

While Tansey makes some valid points, you’d have to believe — or at least hope — Stevenson makes it out of Belichick’s doghouse over the next few weeks.

With White out, the Patriots desperately need another running back who is capable of making plays in the passing game. It appears there is some reluctance to lean on J.J. Taylor in this regard–mostly because of his size — so Stevenson would seemingly have the goods if he can get another opportunity to rekindle the momentum he had in preseason.

Why Trading Stevenson Would Be a Bad Idea

Stevenson‘s Week 1 performance was imperfect, to say the least, but he has great upside. Stevenson’s speed, power and the ability to make plays as a receiver presents too high of a ceiling for the Patriots to let him go this season.

Stevenson still looks like the franchise running back of the near future for New England. Belichick will likely be smart enough to hold on to the rookie running back after seeing what he’s capable of providing to the team during preseason.

Barring a disaster or a complete loss of confidence, Stevenson will become an every-down back.


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