Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are in the long-forgotten territory.
For the first time in nearly 20 years, New England is under .500 after October 1. If the Patriots don’t defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, the team will enter November with a losing record for the first time since 2002.
That same 49ers team could be the key to the New England Patriots’ salvation. The 49ers have an underused weapon that the Patriots may wish to consider trading for in the next two weeks.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots need receiver help
Throughout the Tom Brady era, the quarterback developed a reputation for winning even without elite — or even above-average — wide receivers.
With all respect to Cam Newton, the same hasn’t held true for Brady’s replacement. And in fairness, Brady had the same problem last season.
Outside of an eight-catch, 179-yard performance in Week 2, veteran slot receiver Julian Edelman has been quiet. N’Keal Harry has 18 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown, but that amounts to an average of 33.2 yards per game.
Damiere Byrd has 17 catches for 217 yards in five games and four starts. Tight end Ryan Izzo only has six catches for 82 yards and he’s struggled with ball control this season.
With Buffalo off to a 4-2 start and Miami starting to click, Bill Belichick and the Patriots don’t have much more time to waste.
Dante Pettis is tolling away in San Francisco
San Francisco invested a second-round pick on Washington receiver Dante Pettis in 2018, hoping he’d grow into a mainstay on offense.
Pettis flashed with 27 catches, 467 yards, and five touchdowns as a rookie, but has fallen out of favor the last two years. He only had 11 catches, 109 yards, and two scores last year, although seven of his 11 catches went for either traditional first downs or touchdowns.
This year, Pettis had just one target in four games before the 49ers made him a healthy scratch in consecutive weeks.
Bill Belichick should try to trade for Dante Pettis
If Bill Belichick is smart, he should make sure that the 49ers’ Week 4 loss to Philadelphia is the last time Dante Pettis suited up for Kyle Shanahan.
At this point, Pettis is just tolling away on a team that has no use for him. If Pettis didn’t earn targets when injuries greatly affected the 49ers’ offense, why would that change going forward?
Pettis is only owed a little over $1 million this season. He has a $1.25 million base salary next year, but there isn’t any guaranteed money.
Belichick has made midseason trades for receivers in the past. New England reacquired former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch from the Seattle Seahawks in 2010.
It was only two years ago that New England acquired Cleveland’s Josh Gordon in September 2010 through a trade.
Pettis has impressed at times in the past and would bring a new face to the Patriots’ offense. San Francisco’s decision to render him a healthy scratch could result in the Patriots not needing to part ways with much.
The trade deadline is Tuesday, November 3.
Dante Pettis won’t reinvent the wheel, and he may not even become a Pro Bowl wideout in New England. But he’s worth taking a flyer on, especially with Bill Belichick getting older and, now, being without Tom Brady.