With roster projections looming it is important to remember that odds are all 53 players on the Patriots final roster aren’t on the team right now. You can expect them to add one or two bodies via trade in the coming weeks like they did with Phillip Dorsett last year or Eric Rowe two years ago. Just to be clear, just because somebody hasn’t earned a roster spot on another team doesn’t mean they can’t help the Patriots, but it may be in the Patriots best interest to trade for that player to prevent them from hitting the open market. That being said, here is one player from all other 31 NFL teams that the Patriots could look to target when setting their roster to week 1…
1Arizona Cardinals – QB Mike Glennon
The Cardinals signed Glennon the same day as they signed Sam Bradford to a $20 million dollar deal, probably not expecting to get a QB the quality of Rosen with what was originally the 15th pick in the draft. Glennon seems the odd man and after playing for three teams in the last three years should be adept at quickly picking up a playbook.
2Atlanta Falcons – T Ty Sambrailo
Sambrailo was the Falcons swing tackle last season but has had his snaps taken by Matt Gono in the preseason. The former 2nd round pick could take the role originally planned for Isaiah Wynn.
3Baltimore Ravens – WR Breshad Perriman
With the signings of Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead, plus the draft pick of Jordan Lasley, the Ravens may not have room for Perriman. The former first round pick never reached his full potential in Baltimore due to a slew of injuries but the Patriots love a good restoration project.
4Buffalo Bills – CB Breon Borders
The Bills spent big both in free agency and the draft investing in a slot corner. At least one NFL-caliber DB will be expendable in Buffalo and Borders’ special teams ability makes him a quality Patriots target.
5Carolina Panthers – CB Lorenzo Doss
Doss’ story in Carolina is very similar to what the Patriots had with Cre’Von LeBlanc a few years ago. He’s been an unexpected standout in camp but nobody ahead of him has struggled enough for him to take a roster spot.
6Chicago Bears – CB Cre’Von LeBlanc
Did somebody say Cre’Von LeBlanc? The Bears will be looking to accumulate draft picks this season, and have a surplus of cornerbacks. LeBlanc has proven he has NFL ability in his 2 years in Chicago and would learn a lot playing with Stephon Gilmore.
7Cincinnati Bengals – TE Tyler Eifert
Obviously one of the bigger names on this list, Eifert is in the last year of his deal, and with the Bengals starting a major rebuild in the face and may not want to allocate a lot of money to a tight end when they don’t have a quarterback to throw him the ball. Eifert would be costly but imagine pairing him with Rob Gronkowski, or at least having him as an insurance plan.
8Cleveland Brown – CB/S Briean Boddy-Calhoun
All indications are Boddy-Calhoun will lose his battle for a roster spot with Derrick Kindred. Boddy-Calhoun can play corner, safety, and has extensive special teams experience. If he’s available, expect Belichick to call.
9Dallas Cowboys – LB Damien Wilson
Wilson is entering the last year of his contract, and the Cowboys took a very similar player in the first round of the draft in Leighton Vander Esch. Wilson would add much needed coverage skills to the Patriots linebackers.
10Denver Broncos – WR Demaryius Thomas
No shocker here. The Patriots need a wide receiver and the Broncos don’t seem to want much to do with Thomas. The former All-Pro has seen a decline in catches, yards, and touchdowns in each of the last 4 years, so the price may be cheaper than expected.
11Detroit Lions – WR Golden Tate
In the intersection of reality and talent, Golden Tate is probably the best name on this list. Expect Matt Patricia to inquire about his former defensive players and the Patriots to take advantage.
12Green Bay Packers- WR Randall Cobb
Cobb is another strong option. Reports earlier this week indicated that the Packers have made him available, and his intermediate route ability would be a great fit in the Patriots offense. Plus, we’d get a follow up to Martellus Bennett’s Brady/Rodgers comparisons.
13Houston Texans – LB/ST Josh Keyes
Josh Keyes is the kind of player who is too good to release but doesn’t bring what the Texans need to the table. Fellow Boston College alum Brian Flores could carve out a role for him on the defense, while his special teams abilities make him a draw for Bill Belichick.
14Indianapolis Colts – RB Robert Turbin
Marlon Mack has emerged as the Colts top back as Turbin’s numbers have declined in each of the last two seasons. Selections of two running backs in the draft indicates the Colts are looking to get younger at the position. Turbin could provide experienced snaps in the backfield if Burkhead and/or Michel can’t play to start the season.
15Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Cody Kessler
The Jaguars invested a 6th round pick in quarterback Tanner Lee in this year’s draft. Given the deal they just gave Bortles, they may keep Lee as the backup given he is the cheaper option. Kessler showed flashes of promise in Cleveland, and the former 3rd round pick could not only be a good backup, but a serviceable bridge quarterback post-Brady.
16Kansas City Chiefs- RB Spencer Ware
The Chiefs are plenty deep at running back and Brett Veach has proven he’s not afraid to pull the trigger on big names so far this offseason. Dee Ford and Justin Houston could also be on the block, but Ware would be a great fit in the Patriots offense and take some of the workload of James White’s shoulders, especially if Michel can’t go to start the year.
17Los Angeles Chargers – WR Tyrell Williams
A healthy Mike Williams would limit any snaps Tyrell Williams gets this season with the Chargers. The 26-year old receiver is in the final year of his deal, and given the other pass-catchers on the roster, he could easily fall out of the Chargers future plans. His combination of size and speed would add a unique dynamic to the Patriots offense they lack right now.
18Los Angeles Rams – DE Michael Brockers
Between playing Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks, and the pending Aaron Donald mega-deal, the Rams have to let somebody go. Brockers is in the last year of his deal and would be tough for LA to re-sign. The Patriots could use his services for a year, and potentially extend him if negotiations with Trey Flowers fall through.
19Miami Dolphins – WR DeVante Parker
Parker is the exact kind of player the Patriots should be targeting. Would Miami send him to New England? It would be a steep price.
20Minnesota Vikings – TE David Morgan
The Vikings have 4 NFL tight ends for what looks like 3 roster spots, and Bill Belichick would be more than happy to take Morgan off their hands. His stats aren’t eye popping, but he was rated one of the best blocking tight ends by PFF last season. Shot in the dark Evan Lazar co-signs with this one.
21New Orleans Saints – QB Tom Savage
The Saints won’t be keeping Savage around as a third string quarterback. If the price is too high on Savage, I could see Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick being interested in the Saints now 4th-string scrambling, special teams playing quarterback Taysom Hill.
22New York Giants – T Ereck Flowers
Ironically, Flowers is available in part to the Giants signing Nate Solder. The Patriots are down a tackle with the injury to Isaiah Wynn, and if they feel they can move Flowers around the line he would be a fit.
23New York Jets – NONE
I’m not going to stretch myself too thin on this one. Since starting with the Patriots in 2000, Bill Belichick has made at least one trade with 30 of the other 31 NFL teams. For 18 years, he has avoided the Jets at all costs (this includes trading just draft picks). Don’t be mistaken, Bill Belichick HATES the Jets.
24Oakland Raiders – DE Khalil Mack
Have to include him here, right? If the Patriots feel like re-signing Trey Flowers is a lost cause there would be no better replacement available than Mack. That is of course if the Patriots are willing to pay him.
25Philadelphia Eagles – CB Ronald Darby
Reports are that the Eagles have been shopping Darby for a good chunk of training camp. Darby is in the last year of his rookie deal and was traded to the Eagles last year from the Bills in exchange for Jordan Matthews. Adding a corner like Darby would give the Patriots more flexibility in their use of Eric Rowe.
26Pittsburgh Steelers – WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
The odds of the Patriots and Steelers making a trade are as low as the Patriots and any other team on this list (except the Jets). However, if they did make a move, Heyward-Bey is a guy the Steelers can afford to move with their plethora of wide receivers. The Patriots need a guy with straight-line speed, something Heyward-Bey would deliver.
27San Francisco 49ers – WR Pierre Garcon
The San Francisco 49ers are a team looking to get younger. They don’t have a deep group at wide receiver, but if the Patriots dangle a young wide receiver (Lucien?) with a pick they may be able to pry away the 32-year old Garcon. He would bring the discipline route running necessary in the Patriots offense. Plus, don’t the 49ers still sort of owe us one?
28Seattle Seahawks – CB Byron Maxwell
After signing a one-year extension this spring, Maxwell finds himself in an uphill battle for a roster spot in Seattle. The Patriots could use another big corner to pair with Stephon Gilmore, especially one on a team-friendly deal.
29Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR DeSean Jackson
The Buccaneers have a host of young pass-catchers, and with one year left on Jackson’s deal, he doesn’t appear to be a part of their future. Tampa isn’t winning anything this year, so they could look to move Jackson to help bolster their roster elsewhere and get their younger receivers more playing time. Assuming he gets on the same page with Brady, Jackson could be a great fit in the Patriots offense, assuming a similar role to what Brandin Cooks did last year.
30Tennessee Titans – QB Luke Falk
The battle behind Marcus Mariota consists of the thrilling duel between Blaine Gabbert and rookie Luke Falk. All indications are Gabbert is going to win the battle, so the Patriots could look to trade for Falk, who they showed interest in during the draft process, before he hits the open market.
31Washington Redskins – RB Rob Kelley
Kelley seemed destined for free agency when the team drafted Derrius Guice. Guice’s knee injury seemed to give him a renewed chance, until the team signed Adrian Peterson. If the Patriots feel they need to improve on Mike Gillislee and/or Jeremy Hill as their goal line back(s), Kelley would be a good option
Which of these trades would you most like to see. Did I miss anybody? Let me know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth
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