The New England Patriots Needed To Make This Trade

Bob FletcherCorrespondent IAugust 28, 2008

Ever get the feeling that "your" team should've traded for a player or drafted someone other than whom they drafted? Well, here's something the Pats should've done: trade defensive end Richard Seymour.

Well, let's see, yes, he is a fan favorite, and yes, he helped New England win Super Bowls, but everyone on the those teams was part of the win, too.

Yet one can also argue that Seymour is a one-shot-wonder, because aside from his Super Bowl performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, he really hasn't done much else. Take last year, for example; he played in nine games and had 23 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Astonishing numbers, right? Not so much.

But don't get me wrong about this, Seymour is still a good player.

Now, this brings me to the real reason why the Pats should've traded him. Seymour regularly plays ahead of fellow DE Jarvis Green, who, last year had a good, if not great, year, compiling 39 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

And so you can argue again that you can play these two players together in a 4-3 alignment, but other areas of the Patriots' defense need help.

They need fresh legs at Linebacker (the average age of ALL LB's on the team is 27 while the average age of STARTING LB's is 30) even though they already chose 3 of them in '08 Draft; and the Pats also have a suspect secondary now that Ellis Hobbs is the top guy.

Last year, New England, as you should all know, blew their opponents away, averaging nearly 37-points per game, while the opposition averaged a less-than-staggering 17 points/gm.

Here's the catch: From Week One to Week Seven, Richard Seymour was injured, and the Patriots averaged nearly 40 points, while giving up only 17 points per game. Then, from Weeks Eight through 17 (Week 10 was a bye), the Pats only scored 34 points/gm while giving up 17 points/gm again.

Oh well, six points isn't much, is it? But four out of the nine games Seymour played in, the Pats came very close to losing: Week Nine @ IND: 24-20; Week 12 vs PHI: 31-28; Week 13 @ BAL: 27-24; and finally Week 17 @ NYG: 38-35.

One other issue was the pass rush. Seymour had a measly 1.5 sacks, and Green had 6.5 sacks, along with his two forced fumbles. Although Seymour would average more tackles than Green, a quarterback sack has a much stronger affect on a game. A good pass-rush will also aid in their pass coverage.

As of now, you should probably be convinced that Richard Seymour should've been traded, and if you're not, here's more for you. "Who or what would the Pats get in return for him?" you ask.

The Patriots held the seventh-overall pick in the draft, giving them freedom to choose a top-tier player, but Jerod Mayo? He's a fine LB, but he was obviously over-picked...just look at him in the preseason. The Pats could've gotten a first-round pick for Seymour or at least a young and talented LB or CB.

Teams like Cincinnati, Oakland, Atlanta, Washington, Cleveland, the Jets, and possibly even Arizona come to mind. These teams all had holes in their defensive line before the draft, and some still do. All these teams also have a good, young cornerback or linebacker that New England could've gotten. Heck, they could've even packaged Seymour and the No. 7 pick for even more in return.

So, you can see, a Seymour trade would have propelled the Patriots' hopes of again becoming undefeated more so than keeping him would have.

(Sigh) Wouldn't everyone like to have heard this: "...And after finalizing the Richard Seymour deal, the Pats finish off a good offseason by drafting  (your choice)."

Please give me your thoughts on this one.