‘Crumbling’ Patriots Advised to Trade Pro Bowler for Late-Round Pick

Trent Brown

Getty The New England Patriots have been advised to trade a former Pro Bowler for a late-round draft pick in 2024.

A 1-5 start to the 2023 NFL season should make the “crumbling” New England Patriots sellers in the trade market. That’s according to Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports, who advises the Pats to trade former Pro-Bowl left tackle Trent Brown to the Los Angeles Rams.

A fifth-round draft pick in 2024 is all the Patriots could expect to get for Brown. Yet, Benjamin believes the deal would be worth it since the 30-year-old might “walk in free agency after the season anyway.”

Benjamin still thinks “Brown is a competent starting tackle in New England.” The problem is too many starters who are merely competent is why the Patriots are now a losing team.

That sad reality ought to prompt head coach Bill Belichick to at least think about parting ways with Brown. Especially since there are a few potential alternatives already on the roster.

Patriots Have Potential Replacements for Trent Brown

Belichick isn’t lacking possible replacements for Brown. They range from young players with potential, including Sidy Sow and Vederian Lowe.

Sow, the team’s fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, has played 140 snaps, per Pro Football Reference. Most of his work has come at guard, so the ex-Eastern Michigan standout would need time to adjust to life on the edge.

Then there’s Lowe, a former member of the practice squad for the Minnesota Vikings, who has been in the lineup for 315 snaps. Results have been far from impressive, with Lowe allowing four sacks and 27 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

One of those sacks cost quarterback Mac Jones and the Pats the game against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 6.

It would be understandable for the Patriots to be reluctant to kick Lowe over to the left after any trade involving Brown. Belichick might feel better trusting the experience of 34-year-old Riley Reiff.

He’s only been on the field for 45 snaps, but Reiff has played left tackle for the Detroit Lions, Vikings and Chicago Bears. Reiff could slot in if Brown is dealt, but trading No. 77 would be an acknowledgement Belichick’s team is in full rebuilding mode, just six games into this campaign.

Trent Brown Arguably Still Patriots’ Best Lineman

Brown’s a force when he’s healthy, but the 6-foot-8, 370-pounder has rarely been at 100 percent this year. The nine-year pro has been listed as “questionable” three different times this season, with Fox Sports citing a concussion and chest injuries.

When he’s made it onto the field, Brown has been far from his best. A clip highlighted by Albert Breer of The MMQB from Brown’s performance against the New Orleans Saints in Week 5, summed up the player’s problems.

What’s worrying for the Patriots is Brown’s still their best O-lineman, despite these kinds of lapses. He remains a physical force who is a key part of New England’s rushing attack.

A good example of what Brown can still offer came against the Green Bay Packers in preseason. Brown collapsed the interior against defensive end Colby Wooden on a play highlighted by Nate Tice of The Athletic.

The Patriots need more of this from Brown. Leaning on a power-based running game remains the most likely way for a struggling offense to move the ball.

Jones is still misfiring, but having Ezekiel Elliott and Rhamondre Stevenson run behind Brown could stabilize things. It’s why trading Brown ahead of the deadline on Tuesday, October 31 doesn’t make much sense.