New England Patriots

Curran: Pats offered No. 3 pick to Chargers for Justin Herbert

New England ultimately selected UNC quarterback Drake Maye third overall.

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Before selecting UNC quarterback Drake Maye with the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots explored a blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Chargers.

On NBC Sports Boston's "On The Clock" NFL Draft special, our Tom E. Curran reported the Patriots offered L.A. the No. 3 pick for veteran signal-caller Justin Herbert. With Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh high on QB J.J. McCarthy, whom he coached at Michigan, New England checked to see whether L.A. would part ways with Herbert for a chance to take McCarthy at No. 3.

"J.J. McCarthy has been talked up by Jim Harbaugh ceaselessly throughout this draft process," Curran said, as seen in the video above. "The Patriots, I have on good authority, said, 'You know what? Why don't you just call the Chargers and see if they'll trade straight up. We'll take Justin Herbert, you guys can have J.J. McCarthy.' And the Chargers said, 'No, we're not going to do that.' But that does indicate the Patriots are more than willing to go out and spend the dough."

As Curran notes, the Patriots offering the No. 3 pick for Herbert shows they're willing to pay a premium price for proven NFL talent. Perhaps that includes Brandon Aiyuk, who's been the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks. New England could include the No. 34 overall pick in a deal for the San Francisco 49ers wide receiver.

Now that the QB position has been addressed, getting Maye some weapons to work with should be among New England's highest priorities. Offensive tackle is also a position in need of an upgrade heading into the 2024 campaign.

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