For the first time in recent memory, things aren’t looking good for the New England Patriots. After a 33-6 loss to Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, the Patriots’ record stands at 2-4, placing them three wins behind Buffalo in the AFC East, with a matchup against the Bills looming this weekend.
Oh, and Tom Brady isn’t walking through that door.
On Tuesday, columnist Eric Wilbur wrote that the best way forward for the Patriots was to continue losing, improve their NFL Draft chances, and build back up for 2021.
“There’s no point in winning any longer, not when every victory moves the Patriots further away from a franchise-altering player in next spring’s draft,” Wilbur writes. “The good news is that the Patriots are only two games behind in the sweepstakes for Trevor Lawrence, the 21-year-old Clemson junior quarterback who only has a 178.6 quarterback rating this season for the 5-0 Tigers.”
So we asked readers: Should the Patriots be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?
As of Wednesday afternoon, 266 of you with responded, with an overwhelming 88 percent saying the Patriots should sell, and nearly 10 percent saying the team should buy in and trade for more good players and make a run at the playoffs.
Below are some of the responses readers shared.
“The team has shown they can play good football, being 1 yard away from beating Seattle and one Cam Newton start away from beating the Chiefs. With a few adjustments they can get back on track to at least be a playoff team.”
“Here is the thing with [Bill Belichick]: he can’t draft. He got lucky with Brady and Gronk and a blind squirrel would have been able to find [Richard] Seymour. He needs to get lucky. Sure as snow in Boston a Belichick first-round offensive player will be a colossal bust. He’s had 10 years to draft a decent QB to replace Brady. I’m glad Brady got to leave and show it is the Josh McDaniels s*** offense and mediocre players that were making him look bad. Oh well, back to the Patsies.”
“We’ve been under .500 early before. Though this may be the worst.”
“They need a tight end and a receiver.”
“Because we aren’t going anywhere this year. Trade our talent and see what we can get.”
“Need a long term QB and a bid for the [Trevor] Lawrence Lottery is worth the try. Even if they look like they’re tanking and [Roger] Goodell fines them as long as he doesn’t take a first round pick it would all be worth it.”
“Tank for Trevor! I know BB will never do it, but it is the correct choice. There is no glory in gutting out a 7-9 season. It’s no different than 2-14, only you get stuck in no man’s land draft wise.”
“They are not going anywhere this season. If you can move players that return quality draft choices then do it. If Cam has a bad game this week then trade him at the deadline and let Stidham play out the season. With COVID-19 the Pats will not have fans booing them during their games.”
Responses have been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.