Bengals WR John Ross confirms trade request; should Pats make a move? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The NFL trade deadline is next Tuesday and the New England Patriots are in desperate need of a wide receiver. Should they make a move for Cincinnati Bengals wideout John Ross?
Ross has been the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks, and he confirmed Friday on Twitter that he's requested a move. The 2017 first-round draft pick also noted he's "healthy and eager" to play.
It’s not a secret that i have requested a trade. Trade me if this how y’all feel. I’m healthy and eager to play. I know I can be productive. It’s hard to love something when your not actually participating in it. Believe me, its not football that i don’t like. https://t.co/IlUg270jbI
— Hank Moody (@WatchJRoss) October 30, 2020
Even though Ross would welcome a change of scenery, his team must be willing to trade him. Adam Caplan of SiriusXM reported an update on the Bengals' perspective:
#Bengals stance on John Ross has been the same since day one: They'd rather let him walk in March than get something for him now. There are teams interested in him, but they have not been willing to move him.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) October 30, 2020
The Patriots came into the season without enough talent or depth at wide receiver, and recent injuries have made these problems even worse. New England will be without its two most talented wideouts, Julian Edelman (knee) and N'Keal Harry (concussion), in Sunday's Week 8 game against the Buffalo Bills.
It's unknown how long Edelman and Harry will be out of the lineup. Edelman reportedly underwent a knee procedure on Thursday, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick doesn't think it will be a season-ending situation for the 33-year-old wideout.
Ross is a player worth targeting for the Patriots at the right price. He'll turn 25 years old in late November, so he's still pretty young. The Patriots don't have a quality deep threat in the passing attack, and Ross could fill that role with his excellent speed.
When healthy -- and Ross claims he is healthy right now -- he's played pretty well at times. Ross tallied 49 receptions for 716 yards and 10 touchdowns in 21 games over the 2018 and 2019 seasons combined. Sure, these stats are below what you'd expect from a No. 9 overall draft pick, but Ross could still fill a valuable role on most teams.
If the Patriots are planning on contending in 2020, upgrades must be made to their offense before Tuesday's trade deadline. It's hard to envision New England's offense scoring enough points to be competitive versus quality teams with its current talent and depth at wide receiver.