- Popular Patriots: New England has received trade inquiries on a number of players including running back Damien Harris and wide receiver Jakobi Meyers.
- Kadarius Toney’s fit in KC: An NFC pro scout believes Toney can “help recreate Tyreek Hill in the aggregate.”
- Running back trades: The Los Angeles Rams still look like a potential fit if the right running back is available.
Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes
The NFL trade deadline has already been a lot of fun, and there are still four more days for teams to pull off deals.
The latest trade sent wide receiver Kadarius Toney from the New York Giants to the Kansas City Chiefs. This week’s mailbag has questions about Toney’s fit in KC, where some running backs could wind up before Tuesday's trade deadline and which Patriots players are drawing the most interest from around the league.
Read on for more from this week’s mailbag:
@PlurlRuralJuror: Seen a lot of posts about teams calling about trading for Patriots players. Who do you think the pats should move if they're sellers and what's the potential return?
Teams have been calling the 3-4 New England Patriots about many players on their team prior to the Nov. 1 trade deadline.
The Patriots have received calls on running back Damien Harris, wide receivers Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker and Nelson Agholor and safety Jabrill Peppers, per sources. NFL Media’s Mike Giardi also reported that New England has received calls on offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, who has struggled in a move from left tackle to right tackle this season and was inactive with a shoulder injury Week 7.
Harris, Meyers, Agholor, Peppers and Wynn all are free agents after the season. Bourne and Parker are both signed through 2024 on team-friendly contracts for their positions.
If the Patriots believe they can compete this season, which looked a lot more likely after back-to-back wins over the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns and a lot less so after a Week 7 loss to the Chicago Bears, then keeping players like Harris, Bourne, Meyers, Parker, Peppers and Wynn makes a lot of sense, since they’re all either starters or key depth pieces.
Agholor played just seven snaps before dropping a pass, leading to an interception in Week 5. He missed Week 6 with a hamstring injury and then played just three snaps against the Bears. He has the third-highest cap number on the team this season at $14.9 million. A new team would take on $5.5 million if Agholor was traded before Nov. 1. That would be valuable cap space for New England to clear, but it’s also somewhat unlikely that a team would be willing to take that on for a wide receiver currently playing behind Meyers, Parker, Bourne and rookie Tyquan Thornton.
The Patriots could convert Agholor’s salary into signing bonus to accommodate a trade, but at that point, they might be better off just holding onto him for depth purposes, assuming they wouldn’t be able to get a package similar to what the Chicago Bears netted from the Philadelphia Eagles for edge defender Robert Quinn — a 2023 fourth-round pick.
As far as potential return, I consulted my buddy and PFF Wire co-host Brad Spielberger, because he’s better at that sort of stuff.
Here’s what he estimated:
Harris: fifth-round pick or less
Bourne: fifth-round pick and maybe a seventh-round pick, or Bourne plus a sixth-round pick for a fourth-round pick type of deal
Meyers: third-round pick
Parker: The Patriots traded a 2023 third-round pick for Parker plus a 2022 fifth-round pick. So, around that same amount or a little less
Agholor: They’ll struggle to get a seventh-round pick with his remaining salary. If New England eats his salary, then around a sixth-round pick
Peppers: Sixth- or seventh-round pick given injury history
Wynn: Third- or fourth-round pick to match a potential compensatory draft pick
@DevonCaris: What is the lions record at the end of the year?
The Detroit Lions’ win total is currently 5.5 at BetMGM. The over is at -135 and the under is +110.
So, Vegas seems to think they’ll go 5-12 or 6-11.
I feel bad for Lions fans. Detroit ranked third in EPA per play after four weeks. Now they’re 18th after the last three games, and they’re dead last since Week 5. And they’re 23rd in EPA per play against.
The Lions have had some tough injury luck this season, so perhaps when guys like Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams are all back, that offense will improve again, but quarterback Jared Goff is ranked 28th out of 37 qualified quarterbacks with a 61.5 overall PFF grade. The Lions will have a better chance to upgrade that position with either Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud or Will Levis if they keep on losing.
@NeilBrooksAFC: Where does Akers go?
We’ve already seen two running backs traded, with Christian McCaffrey going from the Carolina Panthers to the San Francisco 49ers and James Robinson dealt from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the New York Jets.
The Los Angeles Rams have already said that they’re actively looking to move Akers to a new team. There’s also a possibility that other running backs, like Harris (though New England is not “shopping” him, per a source) or Kareem Hunt could be traded.
It wouldn’t be shocking to see the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Rams (even though they’re looking to move Akers) or Philadelphia Eagles look at running backs. Los Angeles was in on McCaffrey, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see them go after another running back. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also are dead last in EPA per run play right now. I don’t know if they’d make a move, but it also seems like the Miami Dolphins could use a heavier early-down back after releasing Sony Michel this offseason.
@AstronautHours: How likely do you think a Buffalo/Philly Super Bowl matchup is?
A Bills-Eagles Super Bowl matchup is currently +500 on BetMGM. So, the implied probability of that matchup is 16.7 percent. That’s pretty good!
@imlikewhaa: Why are bengals rated higher then the Vikings after playing mid teams the past 3 weeks
To be fair, PFF has the Minnesota Vikings ranked higher than the Cincinnati Bengals in our most recent power rankings.
The 4-3 Bengals do rank higher than the 5-1 Vikings in both EPA per play (seventh vs. 12th) and EPA per play against (eighth vs. 18th). Over the last four weeks, the Bengals are third in EPA per play and 17th in EPA per play against while the Vikings are 10th in EPA per play and 11th in EPA per play against.
So, I wouldn’t be shocked if Cincinnati and Minnesota do flip soon.
@RaidernationSLC: I don't really see what the Kadarius Toney trade does for the Chiefs that they didn't already have
I look at the Kadarius Toney trade as a win for the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants, which is kind of rare in the NFL. The Chiefs are now five deep at wide receiver with Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman and Skyy Moore, and he gives them a player with the potential to be one of the league’s most dynamic receivers with the ball in his hands.
“It’s a lot to pay for a guy who's never on the field but, man, Toney is electric when healthy,” an AFC pro scout said.
And the Giants’ new regime gets third- and sixth-round picks for a player who wasn’t doing anything for them anyway — and who they didn’t pick. Obviously it was a bad investment for ex-Giants GM Dave Gettleman to draft a player 20th overall who was flipped for Day 2 and 3 picks a year and a half later. But there’s nothing new GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll can do about that now. So, they got picks to help them in the future since they were already winning without Toney.
An NFC pro scout also liked the move for the Chiefs.
“Explosive mover,” he said. “He can stretch the field vertically, and they can manufacture touches for him. He seems like a better culture fit with (Chiefs head coach Andy Reid). He’ll help recreate Tyreek (Hill) in the aggregate. He’s a cost-controlled asset that has traits.”
Toney doesn't have 4.29-second 40-yard dash speed, but his 4.38-second 40 before the 2021 NFL Draft ranks in the 90th percentile at his position. Like Hill, Toney can align in the slot and make defenders miss after the catch.
Toney ranked third last season in missed tackles forced per reception among wide receivers with at least 19 catches. The Florida product forced 12 missed tackles on just 39 receptions. He also forced three missed tackles on just one 23-yard rush this season.
“I’m afraid it's bad news for Skyy Moore,” the AFC pro scout said about the rookie, who now appears to be fifth on the wide receiver depth chart.
The key for Toney is to stay off the injury report. He tweeted Thursday after getting dealt that he’s already healthy. The Chiefs have a bye this week before playing the Tennessee Titans on Sunday night in Week 9.