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The New England Patriots made no further moves in the trade market with the NFL’s deadline passing on Tuesday.
That didn’t prevent Bill Belichick from tinkering with the roster on deadline day. The Pats cut kicker Mike Nugent, and reportedly replaced him with Nick Folk, a former kicker with the Bucs, Jets and Cowboys. Folk most recently was with the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football.
The move didn’t necessarily come as a surprise. Nugent hasn’t provided the kind of dependability the team was looking for. It remains to be seen if Folk will be the answer.
On Sunday, in bad weather, Nugent missed a 34-yarder and also had a 29-yard attempt blocked. The veteran kicker, who was signed when Stephen Gostkowski went on IR, was 5-for-8 on field goals and 15-for-16 on extra points. In other moves, the Patriots released tight end Eric Tomlinson from the 53-man roster. They also cut offensive lineman Aaron Monteiro from the practice squad.
In terms of trades, the Patriots still had some areas where they could have used a boost, namely the offensive line and tight end. Ultimately, they stood pat with what they have in-house, which is an 8-0 team with a dominant defense they’re content to ride the rest of the way.
While adding Mohamed Sanu last week, they were still looking for weapons for Tom Brady. There were reports the Patriots showed interest in Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert. The asking price which was high, didn’t come down. As for Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard, he was supposedly not available.
Redskins left tackle Trent Williams became available, but for a king’s ransom. So there was no trade with anyone.
The Pats weren’t opposed to making a move, but there would have been some cap gymnastics involved given the team had little salary cap space to work with. According to Miguel Benzan of Boston Sports Journal, they were at $2.3 million at the start of the day.
“It’s a factor,” Bill Belichick said with regard to the cap. “It would depend on the player and the salary, and what your other options are on the team, and how big of a gap you’re talking about to make all that work.”
Belichick also mentioned needing to have “a cushion” with the cap to account for additional salary cap charges and expenses during the next eight weeks. Players hitting incentives and roster bonuses qualify in that category.