Patriots were reportedly in discussions to make two blockbuster trades, but came up empty both times

In the 24 hours before Tom Brady officially announced he was leaving New England, it appears the Patriots may have made a last-ditch effort to get him some offensive weapons. Two of the biggest trades that went down this week involved DeAndre Hopkins (to the Cardinals) and Stefon Diggs (to the Bills), and both deals went down on Monday, just hours before Brady officially informed Patriots owner Robert Kraft that he would be leaving the team after 20 years in New England. 

The crazy part is that it appears the Patriots had discussions with both the Texans and Vikings before each team decided to trade away its star receiver. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Patriots were one of four teams that the Texans talked about for a potential Hopkins trade. Besides New England, the Texans had trade discussions with the Eagles, Bengals, and of course, the Cardinals. 

Although there's no way to know for sure if the Patriots went after Hopkins as a last-ditch effort to keep Brady, it's definitely possible. The 42-year-old clearly wasn't happy with the Patriots offensive firepower in 2019, and he apparently made it clear that he wanted to see the team add a few weapons if he was going to return, and adding Hopkins might have been enough to keep Brady in New England. The Hopkins trade went down just before 1:30 p.m. ET, and you have to think that Brady would have thought long and hard about staying in Foxborough if Nuk would have been added to the Patriots roster. 

After the Patriots came up short on the Hopkins trade, it appears they went to their Plan B: Diggs. According to MMQB.com, the Patriots had some discussions with the Vikings about acquiring Diggs, but Minnesota eventually decided to make a deal with Buffalo in a trade that went down just after 10:30 p.m. ET on Monday. With the Patriots out of the Diggs sweepstakes, that meant no new weapons for Brady, and in what may or may not be a coincidence, Brady announced that he was leaving on Tuesday morning

Whether the Patriots were trying to make the trades for Brady or not, the bottom line is that this has been a rough free agency period for New England. Not only have they lost Brady and come up short in two trades, but they've also lost multiple free agents, including Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Nate Ebner, Ted Karras, Elandon Roberts and Danny Shelton

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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