Willie McGinest laid out a trade scenario that – as unlikely as it may be – will certainly entice Patriots fans.
The former linebacker, speaking on NFL Total Access, proposed the idea of the Patriots acquiring standout wide receiver Michael Thomas from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for potentially a second and third-round pick. He said rather than “sell, sell, sell,” the Patriots could consider buying.
McGinest said the Patriots need a receiver with Julian Edelman out, N’Keal Harry an “ehh” at this point, and Jakobi Meyers still learning. The Patriots currently have no active players with over 275 receiving yards on the season, and McGinest said they’d benefit immensely from adding a true star.
“You know about these big type of trades they’ve had,” McGinest said. “Remember Reggie Wayne? Remember Chad Johnson? Remember a guy by the name of Corey Dillon? And Randy Moss?”
McGinest pointed out how Thomas – who suffered an ankle injury in Week 1, was sidelined after reportedly punching a teammate in Week 5, and is currently dealing with a hamstring injury – is viewed in some circles as “not a great teammate” and “not good in the locker room.”
Over the years, McGinest has seen the Patriots bring in players with reputations and help them flourish. He asked executive Scott Pioli whether or not the trade is feasible, and Pioli wasn’t as quick to dismiss the idea as one might expect.
“Willie, this one’s easy,” Pioli said. “Right now, the Patriots have $22 million of cap space this season. Right now, Michael Thomas has got a base salary of a million dollars. The pro-rated amount of money that he has left, and due to him, is only $530,000. They can take on that contract.”
— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) November 3, 2020
Pioli then said the Patriots don’t currently have a locker room leader like McGinest, Mike Vrabel, or Rodney Harrison anymore. He added that they may need to understand what their culture is before bringing someone like Thomas aboard.
Moments later, he said the Patriots need draft capital and have to start thinking about who the quarterback of the future is and how to obtain that player. While trading for Thomas could be viable in some ways, in others it doesn’t add up or benefit them long term.
“Don’t kill my dreams, Scott,” McGinest said.
While McGinest can dream, it appears the trade is unlikely.
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