The New England Patriots had an incredibly successful season in 2021 that few expected of them. After spending a ton of money in free agency and drafting Mac Jones, Bill Belichick coached his team to a 10-7 record and postseason appearance.
If there was one area where the Patriots sorely lacked, it was at the wide receiver position. According to Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal, it's an area Belichick is looking to address in a trade.
More specifically, Belichick is honing in on a trade for Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson.
Anderson was with the Patriots' divisional rival, the New York Jets, between 2016 and 2019. Belichick is aware of the talent he possesses due to their previous meetings.
That is a noteworthy development, as the Patriots almost signed Anderson to a contract in free agency two seasons ago. Belichick thinks highly of Anderson, as Anderson has stated:
“Last year when I was in free agency, when he tried to get me to sign there, he was like ‘I’m tired of scheming against you. I’m tired of going against you.’”
Should Belichick pull off the trade, Jones will benefit enormously from having an experienced wide receiver who can take the top off defenses.
Patriots need to address the wide receiver position
Jones had 3,801 passing yards as a rookie, a respectable number. His leading wide receivers were Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne, who finished with 866 and 800 receiving yards, respectively.
For a third-string wide receiver, those are solid numbers. For being the top two wide receivers on your team, those numbers are highly disappointing in today's NFL.
Bedard noted that acquiring Anderson would likely come at the cost of Nelson Agholor. That's something New England could live with, as Meyers and Bourne could slot in as the number two and three options behind Anderson.
Anderson's coming off a disappointing 2021 season, where he caught a career-low 519 receiving yards.
It was a wise judgment by New England to interview some wide receivers in this year's draft class. Whether they bring Anderson in or not, the organization could use a rookie wide receiver to develop alongside Jones.
Jones has as bright a future ahead of him as one of the league's best young quarterbacks. He will need help from the position players around him to take the next step.
Expect Belichick to be aggressive in gathering as many weapons as possible for his young quarterback this offseason.