While the Patriots just got back wide receiver Danny Amendola and should have All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski and running backs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley returning in the next few weeks, it appears they could still use more offensive firepower; certainly their output has not been anywhere near the levels of recent seasons.
Why the Falcons might want to trade Gonzalez
Why might the Falcons be willing to trade him? First, although Vegas put Atlanta's Super Bowl odds at 12–1 before the season began, the 1-4 Falcons have struggled mightily this season, falling most recently in Week 5 to the New York Jets, 30–28.
The Falcons have placed WR Julio Jones on injured reserve and signed WR Brian Robiskie.—Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) October 10, 2013
Worst of all, the red-hot New Orleans Saints are 5–0, making the Falcons a long shot for anything other than a wild-card spot. According to playoffstatus.com, Atlanta has only about a two percent chance of winning the division and only an 11 percent chance of getting a wild card.
The Falcons don't want to trade Gonzalez—yet
I've seen a lot of tweets w rumors that Falcons should trade Tony Gonzalez, just got off the phone w him he absolutely does NOT want that. Wants to finish up in ATL
Of course, since no-trade clauses are pretty rare in the NFL, it's not really his call to make. If the Falcons keep losing, the likelihood of a trade should increase.
What would the Patriots offer?
Spotrac.com reports that Gonzalez's 2013 salary is $3.5 million, so it would cost the Patriots about $200,000 a week to trade for Gonzalez, in addition to whatever draft picks they give up.
Gonzalez would certainly help the Patriots offense. I would expect that, while it might take a week or two, he would be able to contribute to the Patriots offense pretty quickly. And the Patriots would also give Gonzalez a much better chance to finally win a Super Bowl ring.
While Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is notorious for hoarding draft picks, he is certainly willing to make midseason trades to address areas of need: last season, the Patriots traded a fourth-round pick for defensive back Aqib Talib. If they can acquire Gonzalez for a fourth-round pick or maybe even a third-round pick, it would be worth the trade. (If the Patriots had a good chance of keeping Gonzalez around for more than a year, then I would even consider a second-round pick, although I imagine Belichick would consider that a bit much, and would probably ask for a late-round pick to even out the trade, as they did with Talib.)
That said, I would not expect the Falcons to make the trade now, since this is their bye week. If Gonzalez is traded, I would expect it to happen right around the trade deadline of Oct. 29, after Week 8, especially if they drop one or both of their next two games.