New England Patriots

Breer: Patriots should ‘build assets for the future' at trade deadline

"They are not winning a championship this year. They are not making the playoffs this year."

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With the New England Patriots off to their worst start to a season since 2000 at 2-5, moves need to be made to either improve the current team or prepare for the future. With the NFL trade deadline fast approaching on Oct. 31, Albert Breer and Phil Perry joined Amina Smith on Arbella Early Edition to discuss how Bill Belichick should approach it.

The first factor Breer brought up was Belichick's age. Although Belichick is viewed as one of the greatest coaches of all time, his past accomplishments have done nothing to help improve the Patriots' season so far. If he indeed is on the hot seat, Breer brought up the possibility that Belichick may be hesitant to trade good players that could risk him losing his job.

"Look at Washington for example," Breer said. "They have a lot of defensive ends that teams would be interested in, like Montez Sweat and Chase Young, but the question is, if you are Martin Mayhew or Ron Rivera, and you might be fired in two months, are you willing to trade guys that could help you keep your job?"

Players such as Kendrick Bourne and Josh Uche have been mentioned as potential trade assets who could bring in a nice return for the Patriots, but to Breer's point, is it worth it for Belichick? If he was to trade Bourne and Uche away, the team would presumably get worse for the year, which could put him even more on the hot seat.

Bourne has been a bright spot for the Patriots receiving core so far this season, grabbing 34 receptions for 370 yards and three touchdowns through seven games.

"I feel like that's the same thing here," Breer added. "Not that Bill is going to get fired, necessarily, but if you're Bill, you have to worry about what the team is going to look like two years from now, three years from now, four years from now, because that's what this is about to me."

With an enticing 2024 NFL Draft class headlined by the likes of Caleb Williams, Marvin Harrison Jr., Drake Maye, and Shedeur Sanders, one could wonder if the Patriots could potentially call it on their 2023 campaign and pivot towards rebuilding for the future.

"This is no longer about 2023," Breer continued. "They are not winning a championship this year. They are not making the playoffs this year, in my opinion, so what's your priority?"

Currently last in the AFC East, and tied for last in the AFC as a whole, it would take nearly a miracle for Patriots to battle their way back into contention this season.

"If you have a coach that has a long-term vision for where this is going, your priority would be, 'All right, we still want to service this year's team, but we also need to look to build assets for the future,'" Breer added.

Perry jumped in to reiterate that Belichick, who reportedly agreed to a new contract with the team that runs through 2024, is still the team's de facto general manager.

"From our understanding, he's still making final calls on the roster," Perry said on Belichick's dual role of coach and GM. "I think there are people out there that might be wondering 'Well, new contract, did they maybe take some responsibilities away from him?' From the people I've spoken to, the people that work with them, no. He's still the boss, he still has final say."

The Patriots will look to improve to 3-5 this Sunday as they take on the Miami Dolphins in an AFC East matchup in their final game before the trade deadline.

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