The Patriots are in an interesting place this offseason following Tom Brady signing with the Buccaneers.
Are they in a position to compete for a Super Bowl with Jarrett Stidham/Brian Hoyer at quarterback in 2020, or should looking to the future be more of a priority?
Last week, Julian Edelman liked a Deion Sanders tweet that had him joining Brady in Tampa Bay since they are like "Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen."
Edelman isn't a free agent, so he would need to be traded if that were to happen, so we had the Off Day podcast guys debate it -- should the Patriots trade Edelman to the Buccaneers?
Now, it needs to be said a trade only makes sense if it happens after June 1. If Edelman were to be traded before June 1 it would save just under $4 million against the salary cap, but if it happens after June 1 it would be closer to $7 million. Edelman will be 34 years old next season and while he had one of his best seasons last year, he wasn't the same down the stretch when he was battling numerous injuries. Given his age and the way he plays, it's hard to count him on being healthy for an entire season. If the Patriots can get something in return for him, why not trade him? Tampa Bay actually makes sense given Mike Evans and Chris Godwin do most of their work on the outside, so Edelman could be a good slot option. Moving on from Edelman would give younger receivers like N'Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers more playing time and at least in Meyers' case, he showed he has some chemistry with Stidham last preseason. If the Patriots are accepting that they likely won't be a Super Bowl contender in 2020, why not trade Edelman to Tampa so he can reunite with Brady?
-- Ryan Hannable
Even if Bill Belichick is tearing the Patriots down to the studs, so to speak, Edelman is indeed one of those studs. He is, after all, coming off one of his best seasons, including career highs in targets and receiving yards in just his second 100-catch campaign. Trading Edelman away now would be similar to what the Dolphins did a year ago in essentially tanking the season. Maybe it would save a little coin. Maybe it would garner a draft pick – although it’s hard to imagine another team giving up too much for a soon-to-be 34-year-old slot receiver coming off an injury-plagued season. But it would also pull the plug on the Patriots competing in 2020. Obviously the expectations in New England need to be reconfigured, but the next quarterback needs someone to throw to. Edelman can be that guy to lean on as the rest of the offense is rebuilt. The cons of trading Edelman away far outweigh the pros. If guys like Devin McCourty and Matthew Slater are worth re-signing at this point, then Edelman is certainly worth retaining. It is what it is.