New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Could Patriots Pull Off Any Trades Before Regular Season?

anderson butlerWeek 3 for the New England Patriots‘ preseason is in the books, following the convincing defeat of the Carolina Panthers by a score of 30-7. And if there was anything to take away from the team thus far, it is that the roster is loaded, and the team can only keep so many players. Remember, the NFL only allows for a roster of 53 men, so not all of the standouts or veterans will be on the roster come September.

Will the Front Office let these players walk? Or will they try to deal them to a team lacking talent, trying to improve their roster for the big season ahead? I tend to believe the latter.

There are some bubble players that seem to be hovering over the starting roster that could certainly be dealt, or released, before the season opener in Miami against the Dolphins. They are, in no certain order, as follows:

Josh Boyce, WR #82

Ryan Mallett, QB #15

James Anderson, LB #55

Malcolm Butler, CB #29

Stevan Ridley, RB #22

Matthew Slater, WR/KR #18

Surprised by that list? Well, these names could certainly be playing for another franchise sooner than you may have anticipated.  Let’s take a look.

First off regarding the WR’s on the list, Josh Boyce and Matthew Slater, there seems to be a battle for about 5-6 positions on the roster. Assuming Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell, Kenbrell Thompkins, and Aaron Dobson all make the cut, there would presumably be one more spot left, and about six men battling out for it. Through the past few weeks, fans and analysts alike have keyed on one unlikely candidate to potentially fill the spot, following a four-game suspension to start the season. If you know who I am talking about, then you’re probably excited just thinking about his play this preseason, and if not, get to know Brian Tyms.

One of the most notable players on the bubble for the Patriots is quarterback Ryan Mallett. Generally regarded as Brady’s backup, things changed abruptly for the young mans future when Bill Belichick and co. decided to select Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of last May’s NFL Draft. While everyone seemed skeptical of the rookie’s skills, as he played in a small school against subpar talent throughout his career, Garoppolo has since silenced everyone, and has actually generated a growing following amongst Patriots fans, and has put Mallett’s future in New England in certain jeopardy.

The Patriots have a bunch of average running backs on the roster, and while Stevan Ridley may be the most experienced on the team, he has an epic history of fumbling, and in a contract year, could potentially play too safe and be a detriment to the offense. With a healthy Shane Vereen and young guns including Brandon Bolden, James White, and bruiser James Develin, the team could certainly look to get the most out of his prior success for another Tight End or Offensive Lineman.

In regards to defense, every position seems to be loaded from top to bottom, most notably the secondary. Undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler has certainly played his heart out in August, and will put a very difficult decision upon the front office in regards of what to do with him. Another team could be intrigued by his potential and could give up a future asset in some sort of bundle-deal. Nine-year veteran James Anderson has some good years left in him, but after bouncing from team to team the past couple years, including trips from the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears, could be the odd man out from a battle against youth and potential.

Only time can tell what will happen with this tremendously deep team in the coming weeks, but we all know one thing, behind Rob Gronkowski, there is virtually no one. Michael Hoomanawanui is a decent player, but no where near the matchup disaster that was Gronk with Aaron Hernandez. Coach Belichick could certainly be pushing the front office to find more talent at the position to push out of the AFC and get back to the Super Bowl in the winter of 2015.

All we can do is wait.

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