Should these potential TE, WR trade targets interest Pats? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots unsurprisingly haven't tipped their hand about their NFL trade deadline plans.
But the team has a glaring lack of talent at both tight end and wide receiver, and there seemingly are several players it could target to help fill the pass-catching void.
The MMQB's Albert Breer published a pre-deadline column Thursday that lists a handful of teams open for business involving multiple players who could intrigue the Patriots.
Here's a quick rundown of those names and a breakdown of their potential fit with New England:
Breer: "(The Vikings are) open for business on guys in contract years, and teams have asked on veteran TE Kyle Rudolph (who isn’t in a contract year) as well."
The Patriots have been linked to Rudolph before, and the veteran tight end played for former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis at Notre Dame.
Rudolph off to a quiet start in 2020 with just 10 catches through six games but is a two-time Pro Bowler and a clear upgrade over Ryan Izzo, the only Patriots tight end to catch a pass this season.
David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
Breer: "Cleveland has a surplus at tight end with the emergence of rookie Harrison Bryant, so while former first-rounder David Njoku is not necessarily on the block, the Browns will field calls on him."
Our Tom E. Curran laid out this summer why New England would be a great landing spot for Njoku, an athletic, 24-year-old tight end who would add an exciting dimension to the Patriots' Cam Newton-led offense.
Golden Tate, WR, New York Giants
Breer: "Veterans Golden Tate and Kevin Zeitler are two names that came up pretty consistently with other teams. Tate’s contract and declining production could make him difficult to move for anything significant."
Tate indeed is in the back nine of his NFL career and is averaging just 3.3 catches per game for the Giants. If New England can get him at a reasonable price, though, he could at least give the team more production in the slot than what it's getting from a struggling Julian Edelman.
Kenny Stills, Will Fuller, Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks, WRs, Houston Texans
Breer: "My sense is the team will wait to see what happens Sunday against the Packers, then chart a path on any potential offloading of veterans."
If the Texans look to deal one of their wideouts, the Patriots should come calling. Fuller is the best of the bunch, but Cooks knows this offense from his previous stint in New England, while Stills and Cobb would represent proven veteran options for Newton.
John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Breer: "John Ross has been available before and, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, his agent turned the temperature up this week in asking for a trade."
The 24-year-old wide receiver has been underwhelming in Cincinnati, but perhaps a change in scenery would do him good while adding much-needed speed to the Patriots' plodding offense.