The New England Patriots, already the best team in the NFL, have filled their biggest need by acquiring wide receiver Mohamed Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons.
Sanu became superfluous in Atlanta with the emergence of second year wide receiver Calvin Ridley last year. In addition, the team’s 1-6 start to the 2019 season clearly positioned them to be seller’s at the NFL Trade Deadline.
Sanu was a 3rd round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2012 draft, who went to the Falcons after the 2015 season. In his seven plus year NFL career, Sanu has 4300 receiving yards and 25 receiving touchdowns.
For the Patriots, trading for a wide receiver had become imperative. After a failed attempt to fill the void with beleaguered Antonio Brown, the Patriots have been rolling with a hodgepodge of receivers paired with the ever consistent Julian Edelman. During the 2018 season, the Patriots brought in the oft-troubled Josh Gordon to help fill the revolving door at wideout, but the sixth year pro has had difficulty staying on the field this season.
Many may consider the addition of a wide receiver superfluous for a team whose defense is on pace to break nearly every conceivable NFL defensive record; a team who has cruised to a 7-0 start following a 33-0 thrashing of the New York Jets on Monday night. But, never one to leave things to chance, Bill Belicheck was never going to sit this trade deadline out knowing the team could benefit from the presence of another veteran wide receiver.
The bigger story from this trade is not that it occurred, but that the Falcons were able to pry a second round pick from the Patriots in exchange for a 30 year old wideout with 300 yards and one touchdown this season. Either the Patriots are paying the penalty of no one wanting to make the top team in the league better, and subsequently being forced to overpay; or, the Patriots were not the only team in on the deal to acquire the former Rutgers standout.