With the NFL's trade deadline approximately three weeks away, the chatter has already begun about some players potentially being on the move. For the New England Patriots, the trade deadline is very important, because adding the right piece of talent to their team before then could be the difference between winning a championship and falling short of that goal.
Let's look at five players the Patriots should target before the trade deadline comes and goes, without taking into consideration any fnancial implications that may be involved.
1) Trent Williams, OT, Redskins
With a shift in power in Washington comes another opportunity for New England to inquire about the Redskins' franchise left tackle, Trent Williams.
Head coach Jay Gruden was fired on Monday, leading to a change in philosophy for the football team, which could lead to them making some long-awaited changes. One of those changes could be cutting ties with Williams, who has been holding out since this summer in hopes of getting traded elsewhere.
The 31-year-old left tackle could come in and start immediately for the Patriots, who have been struggling with Marshall Newhouse at left tackle, a position that has struggled mightily ever since Isaiah Wynn went on IR.
A first round pick is the expected asking price for Williams, which would be a hefty price for a one-year rental in the Patriots' case. But if they are all in on winning a championship this season, it may be worth it.
2) AJ Green, WR, Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals receiver AJ Green has yet to play a regular season snap for the 0-5 squad this season. The 31 year old is recovering from an ankle injury he suffered during the preseason, and is on a team that doesn't look like they will be winning many games this season. With the trade deadline inching closer, it would make sense that the Bengals organization has an asking price for any teams that may be interested in trading for the aging veteran.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday that several GMs in the league believe that Cincinnati could fetch a first round pick for Green, despite his age and injury status. If those remarks are believed to be true, then a late first round pick would seem fair, which is what New England will likely have in the 2020 draft.
Just like Williams' case, Green would be a big price for an aging player. But if the Patriots could get 2-3 productive years out of him, a trade for Green would be worth the investment.
3) Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos
A name that has swirled around trade rumors regarding the New England Patriots the past few years is wideout Emmanuel Sanders. That narrative continues into 2019, so here we are.
As an excellent route runner and with some of the best hands in the NFL, Sanders may be viewed as an expendable piece for a Denver offense that has a bevy of young, talented receivers. Sanders, at 32 years of age, could be the perfect mid-season addition to the Patriots roster. The price tag may be low for the Broncos because of his age, which could make for an incredible value for New England has they strive for championship No. 7.
Out of all the possible options on this list, Sanders makes the most sense given the potential asking price and how well he would fit in the Patriots' offense.
4) Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals
Another potential moving piece within Cincinnati's offense is tight end Tyler Eifert. The injury-prone TE was also linked to the Patriots by La Canfora Sunday morning.
Eifert has played in all five games this season, which is the most games he has played in a single season since 2016. The talented tight end is fabulous when he is healthy and could certainly add a boost to the Patriots' red zone passing game, but the chance of him getting injured seems too high, especially if the asking price is a lot to acquire him.
For a late round pick, acquiring Eifert could be a low-risk, high-reward for the Patriots before the trade deadline.
5) Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings
After causing some drama last week by complaining about his usage within the offense, it's hard to tell where the Minnesota Vikings and receiver Stefon Diggs stand. Either way, even if there is a fraction of a possibility that New England could acquire Diggs via trade, it's worth talking about because of his star-studded talent.
Out of all the players on this list, you could arguably say Diggs would have the biggest impact on the team's success if here were to become a Patriot. His superb route-running ability and speed make him a nightmare for opposing defenders that think they can play him up close and keep him in front of them.
For New England, this is the piece of the puzzle that could help cover up any offensive woes they have had this season. The asking price would be very high for a 25-year-old that doesn't seem to be a moveable piece for the Vikings as of right now. However, keeping him for a few years and possibly using him to help bridge the gap between Brady and whoever his replacement may be makes Diggs a mouth-watering trade target.