The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching, but the New England Patriots still have time to swing a deal or two. Fox Sports’ Henry McKenna concocted an “insane dream trade” for every AFC East team, and the object of his affection for the Patriots is Carolina Panthers linebacker, Shaq Thompson.
Here is a look at the tweet:
McKenna doesn’t expound on the trade compensation the Patriots would have to send to the Panthers to land Thompson but based on what we’ve seen from other trades this year and the veteran linebacker’s career accomplishments, it is fair to say that he could be had for a fifth-round pick.
The Panthers have launched themselves into rebuilding mode. The plan was delayed and detoured a bit by the injury to rookie quarterback Matt Corral. Still, the deal that sent Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers firmly stated the organization’s commitment to starting over.
Thompson has another year remaining on his four-year, $54 million deal with a massive cap hit of $24.4 million next season. While the Patriots project to be among the Top 5 teams in the NFL regarding available cap space in 2023, it is tough to imagine them spending so heavily on a solid but unspectacular 28-year-old linebacker.
That’s not to say Thompson wouldn’t show up in New England and instantly upgrade their defense. He would be an improvement over Jamie Collins and Jahlani Tavai and more dependable than the likes of Anfernee Jennings and Jose Uche if he played outside. Thompson’s versatility might also allow him to sometimes slide into Ja’Whuan Bentley’s role.
Still, the contract is costly for the Patriots, who would love to get more athletic across their defense, which probably means getting younger. Time is running down on the Patriots and other teams who haven’t pulled the trigger on a move.
However, it would be a shock if this is the trade the team makes–if any–before the deadline of November 1, 4 pm ET.
Don’t Look For Isaiah Wynn to Be Traded
After weeks of speculation about a potential Isaiah Wynn trade, it doesn’t appear that the Patriots will be moving their disappointing offensive tackle.
Despite moving in and out of the starting lineup and seemingly losing his starting spot to veteran Marcus Cannon, the late reports are that the Patriots don’t plan on trading Wynn, per NESN’s Zack Cox.
If this holds up, the Patriots’ lack of tackle depth is what prevented them from moving Wynn, despite the likelihood they will lose him this offseason.
A Slew of Other NFL Trades Have Been Completed
The Chicago Bears stayed active ahead of the deadline. On Monday, they traded star linebacker, Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens for a second and fifth-round pick.
On Tuesday, just hours before the deadline, the Bears flipped that second-rounder to ship off to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for wide receiver Chase Claypool. Chicago is seemingly building around their young quarterback Justin Fields.
The Minnesota Vikings also swung a big trade to make their already formidable offense even more dangerous. They added tight end TJ Hockenson from the Detroit Lions in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick. The Vikings got a 2023 fourth-round selection and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick in addition to acquiring Hockenson.
The Patriots face the Vikings on Thanksgiving night (Nov. 24), and they best be prepared for arguably the most talented offense they will face all season.