On Tuesday morning, after a 33-0 rout of the Jets, the Patriots traded their 2020 2nd-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
The Pats were in need of a receiver as Josh Gordon and Philip Dorsett have each missed one of the teams last 2 games. Julian Edelman has been playing banged up and they were seriously lacking depth.
Sanu was possibly the Patriots top target to fill this role as they had tried to trade for Sanu earlier this season before the draft. Sanu’s price may seem steep but, unlike A.J Green or Emmanuel Sanders, Sanu is under contract next season.
Sanu might also be one of the best value receivers in the NFL as he is currently on a modest 5-year 32.5-million dollar contract.
More importantly, Sanu does not present the injury concerns that Green or Sanders have.
A.J Green is yet to suit up this season for the Bengals and is unlikely to return until November.
While people may look at the Emmanuel Sanders trade and note that the 49ers had to give up far less draft capitol then the Pats, giving up a 3rd and 4th round pick while receiving a 5th along with Sanders. Emmanuel Sanders is coming off of a torn achilles and beginning to show signs of decline.
As far as the X’s and O’s, the Pats didn’t just trade for Sanu to get the amazing trick play threat of having 3 QB’s on the field at once (Sanu, Edelman, Brady). At 6’2 210 lbs, Sanu will give the Pats an inside target, especially on third down and take pressure off Julian Edelman.
So far this season Sanu has 33 receptions for 313 yards and a touchdown, as he’s been WR 3 in Atlanta behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, so his role in New England won’t be anything new.
It’s been reported that Sanu is “good” with this trade and excited to try and win a Super Bowl, even taking to twitter to share his excitement getting responses from both Brady and Edelman.
Usually I wouldn’t expect Sanu to get many reps on Sunday, as even though they were able to get the deal done earlier in the week it’s tough to get a playbook down in a handful of practices. But with Josh Gordon gone, he’s going to have to get in rather often.
It’s worth noting that just 2 years ago the Pats were taking on the defending NFC champion Falcons on prime time in 2017, a year where the Falcons would make it to the divisional round nearly beating the eventual super bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
And while most of there core from that team remains, the Falcons seem to be heading towards a rebuild sitting at 1-6, with a coach on the hotseat, Sanu on his way out, and Vic Beasley on the trade block.
It’ll be interesting to see how different the Falcons look come next years deadline.