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#pounditThursday, August 18, 2022

Patriots reportedly interested in trading for ex-AFC East division rival

Bill Belichick looks on from the sideline

The New England Patriots appear to be willing to cross over into enemy territory this offseason.

Joe Person of The Athletic reported Saturday that the Patriots have inquired about Carolina Panthers receiver Robby Anderson’s availability. Person adds though that talks were exploratory and that no trade is imminent.

Anderson has spent the last two seasons with the Panthers but was formerly with the New York Jets, New England’s rivals in the AFC East. The 28-year-old receiver played the first four seasons of his career with the Jets, facing off against the Patriots twice a year.

Though he was extended by Carolina before the 2021 season, Anderson regressed as he finished the year with just 519 yards and five touchdowns (albeit in a Christian McCaffrey-less offense). He is under contract for two more seasons but has a potential out in 2023 with $3.8 million in dead cap.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones largely spread the ball around last season, resulting in no pass-catcher on the team recording a 1,000-yard or a ten-touchdown season. Leading receiver Jakobi Meyers is also a restricted free agent this offseason, marking one of many decisions that the Patriots will have to make.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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