In one of the most exciting trade deadlines in recent memory, the New England Patriots were completely silent on Tuesday.
The phone might have been ringing with trade offers, but coach Bill Belichick clearly wasn’t ready to bend over backwards to accept just any offer, either. Win or lose, the Patriots are all in on the 2022 season with hopes of positioning themselves for even bigger moves in 2023.
That won’t exactly hold over the insatiable appetites of a fan base that desperately wants to get back to winning. But honestly, what move could the Patriots have made that would have realistically put them over the top this season?
The hard reality is they weren’t in a power play position like the Miami Dolphins, who snagged Pro Bowl pass-rusher Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos, or the Buffalo Bills, who added running back Nyheim Hines from the Indianapolis Colts. Even the New York Jets got in on the action by swapping defensive end Jacob Martin for a 2024 fourth-round draft pick.
The Patriots could have moved on from wideout Kendrick Bourne, but he still has another year left on his contract for less than $7 million. They could have cut bait with their struggling offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, but they’d run the risk of further destabilizing an already shaky offensive front.
The team could have moved on from Nelson Agholor and Damien Harris as well, but then again, it would have removed two key offensive weapons from a unit that couldn’t even muster more than 14 points at home against the Chicago Bears.
It all comes down to a matter of perspective for the Patriots. If by doing something, the first thing that comes to mind is a splash trade on a whim, then yes, the Patriots did nothing on Tuesday. But if it’s about making the best long-term decisions for the team, even if that means a quiet trade deadline, an argument could be made that the Patriots knocked it out of the park.
They left the roster intact enough to at least keep the hope of playoff contention alive for the team, while also preserving their draft capital to potentially make a splash in 2023. It’s the best of both worlds for a Patriots team that needs to move mountains to compete in their own division, much less clinch a playoff berth.