Arbella Early Edition

Breer: Patriots ‘unlikely' to trade for star wide receiver

The Patriots instead looked to bolster their receiving corps in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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Despite the pre-draft rumors that San Francisco 49ers wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel could be on the move, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer is now reporting that such a deal would be unlikely for the New England Patriots.

"I would say it's unlikely," Breer said Thursday on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition. "I think what made things more difficult was the contracts that were signed by Amon Ra St. Brown, $28 million a year -- A.J. Brown, $32 million a year -- you're not just talking about draft pick compensation now, you're talking about something on the other end of it, which is a massive, massive contract."

While a move for one of the talented wide receivers could have made sense prior to the draft, the Patriots instead decided to fill out their need for wideouts with second-round pick Ja'Lynn Polk and fourth-round pick Javon Baker.

Even if the Patriots were able to acquire Aiyuk or Samuel in a trade, likely including future draft picks in a deal, Breer seems to insinuate that the needed contract extension would be too much for New England to want to indulge. Aiyuk's rookie deal has one year remaining, while Samuel has two years left on his current contract.

"If you're going to trade for one of these guys, they have the leverage in a contract negotiation. They say, 'I'm only going there if I'm getting $32 million, $33 million, $34 million per year,'" Breer added. "Do you want to allot the majority of the $50 million or so that a quarterback on a rookie contract would give you to that one player?"

Even though New England did a good job of filling some holes on their roster via the draft, there are still multiple missing pieces. Instead of paying one receiver $32 million per year, the Patriots should look to sign multiple players to more efficiently fill team needs, building a better team overall in the process.

"I think it's more likely those guys end up sticking on their team," Breer said of Aiyuk and Samuel. "I actually would say right now, just talking to some people out there, I'd say Deebo Samuel is much more available than Brandon Aiyuk right now."

While the Patriots may not roster Aiyuk or Samuel, fans can look forward to a rejuvenated offense built around rookie quarterback Drake Maye and his fellow rookie receivers Polk and Baker. Additionally, the Patriots will hope that second-year wideout DeMario Douglas can continue to improve with Kendrick Bourne also likely to return to action this season after an ACL injury left him sidelined late last year.

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