As the NFL trade deadline came and went, the New England Patriots were remarkably dormant when it came to significant moves. Entering a transition year with a new quarterback in Cam Newton and several key pieces sitting out the season with COVID-19 concerns, many see this as a lost year. Still, the Patriots could’ve swung for the fences. Instead, they didn’t even get a single.
The Patriots’ 2020-21 season
Nobody quite knew what to make of the Patriots’ offseason in the early weeks. While rumbles were heard about Brady’s future with the franchise, many assumed that both sides would reach an agreement, and their long-time quarterback would return to the only team he’s played for in his two-decade career. However, everything changed when Brady packed his bags and moved to Tampa Bay.
While many people wondered what the Patriots would do without their legendary playmaker, they appeased this by bringing in Cam Newton, an oft-injured superstar coming off a significant injury. Thus far, that experiment has not turned out. The team is 2-4 with Newton starting and 0-1 with Brian Hoyer. However, this might not be the fault of quarterbacks.
On top of the major move which saw their franchise’s face leave for Florida, the team lost Brandon Bolden, Marcus Cannon, Patrick Chung, Dont’a Hightower, Marquise Lee, and several other players who opted to take a prorated stipend to stay home, according to NBC Sports. Add to that a recent injury to Julian Edelman and a series of other mishaps, and the year appears to be a lost one.
The Patriots have been contenders for so long that it’s hard to know the right move. However, by standing pat at the deadline, they might have hurt themselves more than they think.
What could the Patriots have done at the trade deadline?
There are several ways the Patriots could have tried to get a few more pieces to either finish up the season or look toward the future. N’Keal Harry might be young and promising, but for a team that wants to look toward the future, he might be their best trade piece if they’re going to get multiple pieces in his place. Add to that a pre-injury Edelman, and the team could have looked toward the future. They even told teams that they were willing to listen to any offer, according to CBS Sports.
The passionate New England fans always expect greatness from the team that’s been to half the Super Bowls in the new millennium. As much as they want to look at the last two decades, however, the team may have been better off looking toward the future. Bill Belichick is already old for his job and not likely to hang on much longer.
Other franchise pieces like Edelman are also aging out. Perhaps, the greatest thing the Patriots could have done to make this year feel more complete was to take away the relics of the past so that they might look better in the future. Alas, they did not do anything, and while a turnaround isn’t impossible, it might come back to bite them in the end.
Did the Patriots make any moves?
Just because they didn’t swing for the fences, it doesn’t mean that the Patriots got away empty-handed, reports Boston’s 98.5. They traded a future seventh-rounder to Miami for receiver Isaiah Ford. Whether this means that the current core is coming to an end remains to be seen. However, this was not the type of trade the Patriots needed to finish the year strongly.
Now, they have to wait for the season’s end and reassess what to do from here on out. Otherwise, their long honeymoon may already be over.