There has been more buzz surrounding the upcoming NFL trade deadline than in recent years. Injuries have really taken their toll in 2013 and teams are recognizing that their roster may not be built for the long haul. The New England Patriots are learning this lesson the hard way as their two best pass catches sit on the sidelines. With Week 8 just around the corner, is the team planning a big move for a wide receiver?
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The Patriots were exposed on Sunday during their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Quarterback Tom Brady has been very good about not blaming their inexperienced receiving corps, but the reality is Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins are learning as they go. To make matters worse. Brady went on WEEI to say how envious he was of the weapons both the Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys had. Cough, cough, Wes Welker.
So will they be buyers before the trade deadline to load Brady up with a top target? CBS Sports Insider Jason La Canfora suggests the Patriots could be taking a look at New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks. Will this trade happen? No, but humor it for a moment because anything is possible when a team is 0-5.
The Giants are headed nowhere fast. The NFC East is slowly falling out of their reach. Nicks is producing on the field for the team, but they are not winning. Playing out the final year of his contract, Nicks will command top dollar in the offseason. This makes it pretty easy for the Giants to trade him off. There was already doubt that Nicks would return to Giants no matter what their record this season was, but the dismal start is predicting the future.
The Patriots will make the playoffs, but they need another receiver. However, Bill Belichick will likely be content on waiting for the returns of Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski. Both players have been rumored to return at least every Thursday before a Patriots game. The issue becomes whether or not they will be productive out of the gate. Amendola returned on Sunday, but had just four receptions. Gronkowski will likely put up the same kind of numbers after being out for so long.
Brady wants firepower and what Brady wants, Brady gets. Unfortunately for him, that may just come in the form of Gronkowski returning in limited fashion. New England is always a Super Bowl contender with Brady, but after the quarterback did not manage 200 yards on Sunday, something needs to change.