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#pounditFriday, June 2, 2023

Patriots eyeing 2 top wide receivers via trade?

Bill Belichick during a game

Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks on the field before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have had a glaring need at the wide receiver position for several years now, and they may finally address it this offseason. If they do, there are at least two big names to keep an eye on.

Jakobi Meyers, who was New England’s best wide receiver last season, is set to become a free agent. With the wide receiver market looking weak, Meyers could demand a higher salary than the Patriots are willing to pay. That may lead to Bill Belichick being more aggressive than usual on the trade market.

According to Chad Graff of The Athletic, Arizona Cardinals star DeAndre Hopkins and Houston Texans veteran Brandin Cooks are the “top trade options” for the Patriots. Graff speculates that it would take a second-round draft pick to acquire Hopkins and a third-round pick to pry Cooks away from Houston.

Hopkins has been linked to the Patriots since he hinted on social media that he expects to leave Arizona. The 30-year-old is still viewed as a game-changing talent who has six seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards in his 10-year career. He had 64 catches for 717 yards and 3 touchdowns in 9 games last season after serving a suspension to begin the year.

One big issue with Hopkins is that he openly butted heads with Bill O’Brien when Hopkins was with the Houston Texans and O’Brien was the head coach of the team. O’Brien returned to the New England as offensive coordinator this offseason.

Cooks was not happy with the Texans last offseason and wanted a trade. Houston’s reported asking price seemed wildly high, but perhaps that has come down.

Cooks played for the Patriots for one season in 2017 after they acquired him in a trade with the New Orleans Saints.

Mac Jones is entering a pivotal third season in New England. Now that he has a real offensive coordinator, the next logical step might be getting him some legitimate wideout help.

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