New England Patriots

NFL Trade Deadline: Patriots Only AFC East Team That Didn't Upgrade Roster

Bill Belichick's team still has four more divisional matchups remaining on its schedule

NFL trade deadline: Patriots only AFC East team that didn't upgrade roster originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2022 NFL trade deadline did not disappoint in entertainment value.

There were a bunch of moves made over the last few weeks, with several of them involving star players such as Christian McCaffrey and Bradley Chubb.

One division that saw plenty of activity was the AFC East. It's one of just two divisions, and the only one in the AFC, without a single sub-.500 team entering Week 9. The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets all made additions to their rosters over the past two weeks.

The one team that didn't was the last-place New England Patriots. That's not a good development for Bill Belichick's team, which still has four more divisional matchups remaining on its schedule.

Week 11: vs. Jets

Week 13: vs. Bills

Week 17: vs. Dolphins

Week 18: at Bills

Here's a recap of what the AFC East teams did before the trade deadline.

New England Patriots

Notable additions: None

For the second consecutive year, the Patriots did not make a trade before the deadline.

The Patriots had a few veteran wide receivers who drew interest around the league over the last few weeks, including Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, but none of them were dealt. New England also held on to right tackle Isaiah Wynn despite his lackluster performance this season.

The Patriots are 4-4 and still in the hunt for a wild card playoff spot in the AFC. But instead of upgrading their roster, the Pats pulled off no moves and watched as their two main competitors in the division -- the Dolphins and Bills -- made meaningful improvements. 

One non-division Patriots opponent that also improved at the trade deadline was the Minnesota Vikings, who play New England on Thanksgiving night. The NFC North leaders acquired tight end T.J. Hockenson from the Detroit Lions, making an already formidable Vikings offense even more talented.

So, when you factor in the moves made by the AFC East teams and the Vikings, five of the Patriots' nine remaining games got tougher as a result of the trade deadline.

Miami Dolphins


Notable additions: RB Jeff Wilson, LB Bradley Chubb

The Dolphins acquired Chubb from the Denver Broncos in a deal that included multiple players and draft picks. Miami sent a 2023 first-round pick and running back Chase Edmonds to the Broncos as part of the trade. Chubb is a top-tier defensive player and a premier pass rusher (5.5 sacks this season). 

The Dolphins also bolstered their depth at running back by acquiring Jeff Wilson from the 49ers. Wilson will team up with another former 49ers running back, Raheem Mostert, in Miami's backfield. 

Based on their moves at the deadline, the Dolphins clearly feel like they have a strong chance to make a deep postseason run. Let's not forget Miami hasn't won a playoff game since 2000 -- the longest drought among the AFC East teams.

Winning the division over the Bills is unlikely, but at 5-3, a wild card berth is very much in play for the Dolphins. Miami is 5-0 in games that starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has finished this season.

New York Jets

Notable additions: RB James Robinson

Breece Hall's season-ending ACL surgery saw the Jets acquire James Robinson from the Jaguars in exchange for the small price of a conditional sixth-round draft pick. Robinson provides good depth at running back and a quality pass-catcher out of the backfield for second-year quarterback Zach Wilson.

The Jets also traded defensive end Jacob Martin and a 2023 fifth-round pick to the Broncos for a 2024 fourth-round pick. The Broncos needed someone to replace Chubb and Martin was their guy. New York had plenty of depth along the defensive line, so trading Martin shouldn't be much of a setback for the team's pass rush.

The Jets didn't make any substantial upgrades, but adding a fourth-rounder and picking up Robinson were two solid moves. New York occupies the first wild card spot (No. 5 seed) in the AFC playoff race entering Week 9. 

Buffalo Bills

Notable additions: RB Nyheim Hines, S Dean Marlowe

First-place Buffalo needed to upgrade at running back before the playoffs. Bills quarterback Josh Allen entered Week 8 as the team's leading rusher. His two rushing touchdowns are as many as all of other players on the Bills' roster combined.

The Bills addressed this roster weakness by acquiring Colts running back Nyheim Hines. The price to get Hines -- tight end Zack Moss and a conditional 2023 sixth-round pick -- was not very high. Buffalo also acquired safety Dean Marlowe from the Atlanta Falcons for a seventh-round pick in a move that provides valuable depth in the secondary.

Hines likely will be used in a lot of passing situations. He has tallied 235 receptions in 72 career games, and his 1,725 receiving yards since 2018 rank fifth among all running backs during that span. Hines also is signed through the 2024 season. 

The Bills enter Week 9 with a defense that ranks No. 1 in points allowed per game and an offense that ranks No. 2 in points scored per game. This is a well-balanced team primed to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1993.

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