There are a lot of interesting theories and rumors floating around about the New England Patriots. We've heard everything from Tom Brady signing with the Las Vegas Raiders, Teddy Bridgewater being a good fit for New England, all the way to Bill Belichick being interested in trading for Andy Dalton if Brady actually did leave the Patriots.
But, the newest hot take that is linking the Patriots to disgruntled Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs is definitely the most interesting, the most exciting, and probably the least likely to happen. But that doesn't mean that it's not fun to think about.
The other piece to remember is, the Patriots finally have enough capital and believe it or not, enough cap space to make a deal with the Vikings. Belichick would just have to be a little thrifty, and he would have to move on from a couple veterans, but trading for Diggs is actually a do-able task for the Patriots.
"The Patriots have roughly $30 million in cap space. Diggs’ $11.5 million salary would be a tight squeeze for a Patriots team that wants to re-sign Tom Brady. Diggs is signed through the 2023 season. New England would take on his four-year, $47.5 million contract." - Danny Jaillet, Patriots Wire
One way that the Patriots could make this move happen is packaging up a pick and Mohamed Sanu. Trading Sanu would save the Patriots about $6.5 million in 2020, leaving the Patriots just having to cover the remaining $5.5 million of Diggs salary.
I've been standing pretty firm on two different things the Patriots need to do for the 2020 season. #1 Give Sanu a full training camp and season with the Patriots before you decide to move on from him. #2 Save your draft capital and make the roster younger.
With that being said, if you have the opportunity to trade for Stefon Diggs you do whatever you can to make it happen.
From a timeline perspective, it would make more sense for Belichick to pull this off prior to free agency starting and showing Brady that he’s serious about surrounding him with a proper offense.
"If New England wants to ensure that Brady stays in New England, they should go all-in and try to trade for Diggs. Diggs is twice as expensive as Sanu. However, the production from Diggs is worth it. Diggs caught 63 passes for 1,130 yards and six touchdowns. Sanu caught six passes for 207 yards and a touchdown in eight games with New England. To be fair, his numbers with New England are a bit skewed because he was acquired at the trade deadline last fall." - Danny Jaillet, Patriots Wire
Trading for Diggs would be difficult the whole way around. Belichick would have to give up some valuable assets and it's still going to be tight for the Patriots. But, if the Patriots are serious about going all in this season and trying to make a push for the Super Bowl, trading for Diggs would be a huge step towards their goal.
Of course it only makes sense for Belichick to pull this off if he's 100% certain Brady is returning to the Patriots. Unfortunately it's almost a chicken and egg thing. Acquiring Diggs would show Brady that the Patriots are serious about getting him weapons, but they risk Brady signing somewhere else regardless. It's a bit of a risky move, but it's a move Belichick can't really afford to pass on