Opinion: The Patriots should be sellers at the trade deadline

Once again, the NFL trade deadline is approaching. But instead of gearing up for another Super Bowl run, the Patriots should consider trading some players away. 

Typically around this time of year the Patriots would be looking for pieces to add for a championship run, but things are much different this year. Tom Brady is now a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, and instead of being 5-2, the Patriots find themselves with a 2-5 record. 

Of course there is still time to turn the season around and become a playoff team, but there has been little to be excited about in the past couple weeks. The Patriots lost an ugly game against a seemingly inferior Denver team, then missed their usual rebound game by losing an even uglier game against San Francisco. Then, when it mattered most to get a win, the Patriots couldn’t get it done, falling to the division rival Buffalo Bills. 

Quarterback Cam Newton has not been the same since returning from his COVID-19 absence. In his last three games, Newton has only passed for 429 yards, while also throwing five interceptions and zero touchdowns. 

The qualities shown in this team are not those of a championship contender. While having bad games is normal for every team, a bad game should motivate a true contender to deliver a response in the following week. Instead, the Patriots have gone on a four-game losing streak. 

The division is also not the same dumpster fire that it used to be. With Josh Allen developing into one of the better quarterbacks in the league, the Bills are threatening to dethrone the Patriots as AFC East champs with a current record of 6-2. 

The Patriots don’t have an abundance of weapons to sell, considering that they have the worst wide receiving core in the league and most of their secondary opted out due to COVID-19, but trading cornerback Stephon Gilmore could be of value to a number of teams. Gilmore is the reigning defensive player of the year, and has been one of the best cornerbacks in the game for the past few years. 

According to Alber Breer, the Patriots were talking to other teams about trading Gilmore in August, when Gilmore was looking for a pay raise. With the Patriots sitting at 2-5 and Gilmore not performing up to standards this season, it would make sense if the Patriots wanted to move him before the deadline. Gilmore also put his Foxboro home on the market on Wednesday, which could further indicate that he’s expecting to be moved. 

Another name that would make sense to move would be wide receiver Julian Edelman. At the age of 34, Edelman is clearly past his prime, and it shows. These days he can be seen giving up on plays and dropping lots of passes, which has contributed to a few of Newton’s interceptions. But Edelman probably won’t be traded, since he underwent knee surgery on Thursday and will be out at least a month. 

With the trade deadline set for 4 p.m. on Nov. 3, the Patriots have to decide right now if they already have most of the tools needed to turn the season around and make a run for the playoffs, but that would be hard to do considering that they have the weakest offense that they’ve had in twenty years. The best thing for them to do would be to sell a few players now, then rebuild in the offseason by obtaining a new quarterback and some new receivers. 

Follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieTaris.