The Patriots had interest in trading for Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard this offseason, according to Pat Leonard of the Daily News. Of course, that’s no longer an option for the Pats after Shepard inked a four-year, $41MM extension with the G-Men.
The value of Shepard’s extension raised eyebrows in the football world, but it’s clear that the slot receiver is well-valued around the league. Had the Giants not re-upped Shepard after his career year in 2018, they would have risked losing him to a free agent market next year that is increasingly strong for receivers like him.
Meanwhile, the Pats will have to look elsewhere for offensive firepower. The retirement of Rob Gronkowski, defection of Cordarrelle Patterson, and suspension of Josh Gordon leaves them with little in the way of targets for Tom Brady. The club could still circle back to free agent Chris Hogan, though we haven’t heard much on that front lately.
The Pats went after Adam Humphries and Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this offseason, but did not come away with either player. They also pursued Jared Cook – even after he agreed to sign with the Saints – as a Gronk replacement, but they were rebuffed. At this stage, the Pats will probably have to zero in receivers in the draft and summer cap casualties.
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