Latest On Patriots’ Deadline Plans

Despite their upset win over the Bills in Week 7, the 2-5 Patriots are likely to find themselves in the sellers category ahead of the upcoming trade deadline. To no surprise, the team is open to at least considering offers on a number of players.

[RELATED: Patriots, Bill Belichick Agreed To Offseason Extension]

Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald reports that the Patriots are “willing to listen to offers” which could see them deal away members of their core, specifically those on expiring contracts. That means the likes of edge rusher Josh Uche, safety Kyle Dugger and offensive lineman Michael Onwenu in particular could be the subject of trade negotiations in the coming days.

A recent report indicated Uche and the Patriots have not held extension talks, leaving him on a path toward departing in free agency in March. New England does not have a history of valuing situational edge rushers such as the Michigan alum as highly as other teams. As such, it would not come as a surprise if a market developed for his services to close out the 2023 season, but also for years to come on a long-term deal given out by an acquiring team. Uche had a breakout season last year with 11.5 sacks, but he has managed just a pair so far this season.

As fellow 2020 draftees, Dugger and Onwenu are playing out the final year of their rookie contracts. The franchise tag could be in play for the former in particular, Kyed notes, and it may become necessary if an extension cannot be worked out. Dugger expressed an affinity for the Patriots in the summer when asked about his contract status, but no updates have emerged regarding an extension being on the horizon. The same is true for Onwenu, who has proven to be a versatile and consistent blocker over the course of his career (although his performance has taken a step back in 2023).

Kyed adds that the trio of Uche, Dugger and Onwenu would each likely garner draft compensation ranging from second- to fourth-round picks if they were to be included in deadline deals. Veteran wideout Kendrick Bourne – previously named as a low-cost trade target at his position – could also draw attention and yield a Day 3 pick in return. As Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes (subscription required), New England is seen around the league as a team with desirable trade chips, so they will be a team to watch in the coming days.

The Patriots are currently slated to have the third-most 2024 cap space in the league at nearly $93MM. That flexibility could go a long way in informing their moves (or lack thereof) ahead of the October 31 deadline as they weigh the value of future assets against that of retaining key players in what appears to be another season destined to land outside the postseason.

View Comments (4)