The Patriots won the Super Bowl this past season without an elite outside receiver but that doesn’t mean the Pats won’t be looking to upgrade at the position this off-season.
There was more Odell Beckham Jr trade chatter on Monday as The Athletic’s Jeff Howe tweeted, “The Giants are still involved in trade discussions with Odell Beckham Jr, according to a source. One of the league’s best receivers remains on the market.”
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller added: “The 49ers aren’t done yet. Spoke to someone this morning who said a trade for OBJ is still possible.” Adam Schefter weighed in on ESPN TV and said that the Giants are “listening to offers.”
Based on current salary cap and team history. Here is a ranking of teams most likely to trade for Beckham in the next few days.
1. San Francisco 49ers: John Lynch is hell-bent on finding a top option on the outside for Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners have cap space to play with.
2. Cleveland Browns: Jarvis Landry has been pushing for this for a while and the Browns seem to be pulling a Los Angeles Rams, going for broke without thinking about long-term ramifications. Baker Mayfield’s rookie contract certainly helps.
3. Green Bay Packers: If only Aaron Rodgers made a little less. Still, the Packers have two first round picks to dangle.
4. Buffalo Bills: They were close with Antonio Brown, but like Brown Beckham might scoff at going to Orchard Park. Beckham has said he wants to “play with a winner” and could run into the same troubles he has in New York in Buffalo.
5. Denver Broncos: John Elway is a go-big or go-home executive and must be worried about the health of Emmanuel Sanders. The Broncos need a No. 1 WR with Sanders questionable and could fit Beckham under the cap.
6. New England Patriots: The Patriots are the least likely team here to make a trade for Beckham. As Albert Breer pointed out in his MMQB column this week, elite receivers that are unhappy are going to want to get what Antonio Brown just got: a new contract.
“What’s going to happen,” on prominent agent told Breer on Sunday, “is that superstar players are going to see that their only leverage is to force a trade and get a new deal from their new team.”
Patriots lose Flowers and Brown
Tom Brady’s health and Bill Belichick’s brain remain the two most important parts of the Patriots dynasty, but the franchise was dealt two major blows on Monday as they saw their top defensive and offensive lineman walk in free agency.
Trey Flowers is headed to the Detroit Lions to join up with former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, and Trent Brown cashed in with a contract as big as his waistline in Oakland.
For the second straight off-season, the Patriots have lost an elite left tackle. Last year it was Nate Solder to the Giants. This year it was Trent Brown to the Raiders for a whopping $66 million over four years. It will be the highest contract for an offensive lineman in league history.
The Patriots never dabble in dishing out historic contracts, so it’s no surprise that they did not match the Raiders offer. But this will hurt.
The Pats will now be relying on 22-year-old Isaiah Wynn to protect Brady’s blind side. Wynn was the first player the Patriots picked in last year’s NFL Draft at No. 23 but the Georgia product tore his Achilles in the Pats’ second preseason game and missed the entire 2018 season.
LaAdrian Waddle is another option for the Pats at left tackle.