Patriots Investigating WR Trade Market

The Patriots have made upgrading at the receiver position a priority this offseason, as evidenced by their pursuit of Calvin Ridley. New England finished as one of the runners-up in that case, but the team has still brought in a veteran in the form of K.J. Osborn.

In spite of that, more moves could be coming soon. Adam Caplan of Pro Football Network reports the Patriots have “looked into the trade market” at the receiver position. New England entered Monday with $50MM in cap space, the highest figure in the league. As a result, an expensive addition would be feasible if the right target and trade partner were to be found.

A few WR swaps have taken place already this offseason, with Jerry Jeudy and Keenan Allen finding new homes via that route. Tee Higgins could be on the market, as the franchise-tagged Bengal has requested a trade. Cincinnati remains intent on keeping Higgins in the fold for at least one more season, however, even though turning down a trade could open the door to a free agent departure next offseason.

Demario Douglas led the Patriots in receiving during his rookie season in 2023, and adding at least one starter at the WR spot was a reasonable goal for the team. Osborn will fit the bill, and he will join returnee Kendrick Bourne (who re-signed on a three-year deal) as a key piece of the team’s passing attack next year. The latter’s best season came in 2021 when he posted 800 receiving yards; Osborn, meanwhile, has never topped 655 yards in his career. Plenty of room therefore exists for the addition of a true No. 1 which someone like Higgins (with two 1,000-yard campaigns to his name in four years) could serve as.

Presuming the 25-year-old remains off the market, though, New England’s trade interest would likely yield another rotational or depth pass-catcher. In that event, the team’s attention would increasingly turn to a draft class which has a number of highly-touted receiving prospects. By virtue of owning the No. 3 selection, the Patriots could have the chance to draft Marvin Harrison Jr. or Malik Nabers if they decline to use their pick on a quarterback. Of course, the team’s decision-making process on the that front will depend in large part on which moves are made with respect to trades or free agent signings over the coming weeks.

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