The Patriots are always one of the most proactive teams at the trade deadline, and this year is no different. Last week's acquisition of receiver Mohamed Sanu is not expected to be the only deal they make, with league sources saying the Patriots are continuing efforts to bolster the offense.
New England is all-in for a record seventh Lombardi Trophy with 42-year-old quarterback Tom Brady, and realizes it still had weaknesses on the offensive side of the ball. The defense is playing at a historic level but will face tougher tests in the weeks ahead, and Bill Belichick has been focused for weeks on adding pass catchers and reinforcing the offensive line.
It was a given that New England would trade for at least one receiver, parting with a second-round pick for Sanu. Injuries remain a big concern there, and the team lacks speed and mobility at tight end with Rob Gronkowski retired. Tyler Eifert (Bengals) and O.J. Howard (Bucs) are players that appeal to the Patriots, sources said, and with Belichick willing to trade a first-round pick plus another high pick for Antonio Brown last winter, other GMs believe he will take a run at A.J. Green before Tuesday's deadline as well (the thinking around the league that that the Bengals ).
Washington's Trent Williams would solidify an offensive line that has been struck by injuries as well, and some general managers I spoke to believe that the Patriots could end up re-acquiring Giants tackle Nate Solder, who was formidable for the Patriots but has struggled in New York on a huge contract. Even adding a depth piece like Cordy Glenn, who has clashed with the Bengals over his concussions, could make sense with his ability to play either tackle spot. Also, if the Browns are able to pry Williams out of Washington, then benched left tackle Greg Robinson is even more likely to be moved ahead of the deadline.
It's clear the Patriots aren't concerned about trading future high draft picks to try to get another ring out of this dynasty, and they realize they have been able to get by with a middling running and passing game thus far, but doing so week after week in January might be pushing it. They'll be very active again at the deadline.