3 Patriots' Trade Targets After Week 2
The New England Patriots appeared to be in a decent position with their offensive skill players, but the Week 2 benching of Rhamondre Stevenson brought that into question.
Stevenson was expected to be one of the backups to Damien Harris in the ground game, but he quickly found himself on the inactive list after a Week 1 fumble.
Stevenson could find himself back on the active game-day roster, but it may take some time for him to gain back Bill Belichick's trust.
If that is the case, the Patriots could explore the trade market to bring in another running back to shoulder some of the massive load that has been placed on Harris.
It also would not hurt the Patriots if they explored the wide receiver market. Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne are nice pieces to have, but if there is no No. 1 standout wideout yet, the Patriots may have to rely on an abundance of depth to win games and contend for a playoff spot.
It is clear that Marlon Mack does not have a significant role carved out for him in the Indianapolis Colts offense anymore.
Mack got hurt in Week 1 of the 2020 season and that led to Jonathan Taylor taking over the position in Frank Reich's offense.
Not only has Mack played second fiddle to Taylor, but he also has less production than Nyheim Hines through the first two weeks of the season. Mack carried the ball on five occasions for 16 yards to start the 2021 campaign. As long as Taylor is healthy, he will not receive a ton of carries.
New England may present a similar situation with Harris as the primary back, but the Patriots could use a second consistent runner to take some pressure off rookie quarterback Mac Jones.
Mack is just 25 and he is two years removed from his only 1,000-yard season.
If the Patriots are interested in Mack, they could use him and Harris in a two-man ground game and can focus on using James White in the passing game.
The Houston Texans started the season with two victories, but the season could go south fast with Davis Mills now at quarterback.
If Houston's season goes downhill with its backup quarterback on the field, New England could look at one of the team's three running backs.
Mark Ingram II is the primary back in Houston, and he would not be a good fit with Harris established as the No. 1 back in New England. David Johnson might not work at Gillette Stadium either since he carries similar pass-catching qualities as James White.
Phillip Lindsay would be the ideal target from the Houston backfield for the Patriots because he can be a high-quality No. 2 running back.
Lindsay was a two-time 1,000-yard rusher at the start of his career with the Denver Broncos, and he has produced one score on 13 rushing attempts to begin the 2021 campaign in Houston.
With Ingram as the clear No. 1 in Houston, Lindsay could be viewed as an expendable piece if a fire sale happens in the coming weeks.
This potential trade could be dependent on how Houston fares while Tyrod Taylor is out injured, but it would be worth setting the wheels in motion now if Stevenson is going to be on the inactive list again.
The Patriots could take a risk and look into acquiring Denzel Mims from within the AFC East.
The 2020 second-round pick is currently the No. 5 wide receiver on the Jets depth chart and may not be active for a handful of games in 2021.
New York may look to offload Mims to give a chance to succeed elsewhere. He had one catch for 40 yards in Week 1 and he had 357 receiving yards in his rookie season.
Mims is still an unproven commodity in the NFL, but the Baylor product has an abundance of talent who could be unleashed if Belichick gets the best out of him.
New England would be taking a calculated risk in bringing in Mims, but it could worth it to add some dynamism to the passing game around Agholor, Bourne and Jakobi Meyers.
If anything, Mims would come in as a low-risk, high-reward player. He is on a cheap contract and would not cost much in return.