NFL Rumors: New England Patriots Could Target Star Wide Receivers via Trade

The New England Patriots are still trying to get their passing game rolling in the post-Tom Brady era, and they're willing to pursue some star power to do it. According to the Athletic's Chad Graff, the team could target Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks this offseason in order to bolster their receiving corps.

Patriots wide receivers Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor are set to hit free agency, so the Patriots could be in need of capable pass catchers. Trading for Hopkins or Cooks would constitute buying low on the veterans: Hopkins turns 31 in June and has missed 15 games over the past two years, and Cooks managed only 699 receiving yards last year, his fewest since his injury-riddled 2019 season.

Reuniting with Cooks would be a startling development considering the terms on which they separated. Cooks actually previously played for the Patriots in 2017. He hauled in 65 receptions for 1082 receiving yards and seven touchdowns while helping Tom Brady to an MVP season. The Patriots unceremoniously traded him to the Los Angles Rams after a single season with the team.

Regardless, the Patriots passing attack certainly needs to do something. Quarterback Mac Jones experienced an alarming regression after a promising rookie season, managing an 84.8 passer rating with 5.81 net passing yards per attempt across his 14 starts. For the Patriots to return to their perennial contender status, their young passer will need help.

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