The New England Patriots and the Chicago Bears have already worked together on a trade for a wide receiver. Could they go back into the lab on an even bigger move?
The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 1, and several Patriots players have been the subject of rumors. Wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor have been discussed the most. We’ve even heard a few mentions of teams showing interest in Jakobi Meyers and Devante Parker, though the likelihood of the latter two being dealt away seems small.
Running back Damien Harris looks more expendable each week as Rhamondre Stevenson has emerged as the team’s No. 1 running back. There are consistent rumors about the Patriots trading away offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero, and Mike Garafolo collaborated on a recent trade talk piece. The trio identified Bourne, Agholor, and Wynn as the Patriots most likely to be traded.
They also pointed out a member of the Chicago Bears as a player who could be on the trading block. Roquan Smith, the eighth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, has become one of the better linebackers in the NFL. He is set to become a free agent next season–if he isn’t designated with the franchise tag, he was a hold-in during Bears training camp.
New England and Chicago worked together on a trade this offseason that saw the Patriots ship disappointing wide receiver N’Keal Harry to the Bears in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in 2024.
Harry caught his first pass of the season against the Patriots in Week 7 after missing the first six games with an injury. On Sunday, he also caught his first TD with the Bears against the Dallas Cowboys in Chicago’s 49-29 loss on the road.
The Bears hope Harry can become a part of what they do in Chicago, and he’s off to a promising start. However, would the Bears consider making another trade with the Patriots for another receiver?
Patriots Land Roquan Smith in Huge Proposed Deal
In a deal that could be the biggest deadline deal if it was completed, the Bears could create even more cap room heading into an offseason where they will already have upwards of $130 million to spend while adding another receiver to aid in Justin Fields’ development.
The Patriots could add a stalwart inside linebacker who would instantly upgrade their defense, providing the sort of playmaker they have lacked at the position since Dont’a Hightower was in his prime.
- Patriots get LB Roquan Smith
- Bears get WR Kendrick Bourne, a 2023 Second-Round Pick, and a 2024 Fourth-Round Pick.
Why Both Teams Might Be Interested and the Potential Impediments
At this point, the Patriots aren’t utilizing Bourne. He has had one target in each of the last three games and has seen a dramatic decline in usage since last season when he had a career year with 55 receptions, 800 receiving yards, and 5 TDs.
With the promising lay from rookie Tyquan Thornton, Meyers’s steadiness, and Parker’s arrival, Bourne has been the most egregious odd man out.
Smith is having another strong season with 53 solo tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two interceptions. He’s the kind of player who can fit multiple systems. If he landed with the Patriots, he would take snaps from Ja’Whuan Bentley, Anfernee Jennings, and or Josh Uche because of his versatility.
Smith is carrying a $9.7 million cap hit this season, and he is in line to cash in during the offseason on a deal worth in the neighborhood of $88.4 million over four seasons, per Spotrac. New England is unlikely to pay that much, but would they consider it knowing they could franchise tag him and keep him under contract for at least another season?
Bourne, who still has another year remaining on his contract at $6.9 million in 2023, would instantly become a starter for the Bears alongside Darnell Mooney, and he’d give Chicago their best run-after-catch option. The two picks would give Bears management two more assets to build around their young, promising quarterback.
It’s a long shot, but it would be a major move for both sides.
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