It was this past October that the New England Patriots shockingly yielded a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Atlanta Falcons for veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
The 31-year-old Sanu did have one more year remaining on his contract. However, the idea of yielding a second rounder for a player who had recorded 33 receptions in seven games for Atlanta made no real sense.
Nearly a calendar year removed from said trade, the Patriots have seemingly admitted their mistake.
Patriots release wide receiver Mohamed Sanu
This is stunning by every definition of the term. It’s not like the Patriots had much depth or talent at wide receiver in the first place. The team signed Marqise Lee this past spring, only to see him opt out of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 concerns.
Second-year receiver N’Keal Harry is slated to start opposite Julian Edelman. The 2019 first-round pick recorded all of 12 passes for 105 yards in seven games as a rookie. Outside of that, there’s not much to write home about.
Could the release of Mohamed Sanu point to another move?
New England did save a whopping $6.5 million against the cap by releasing the veteran. This is the type of move that is normally made during the spring as a cost-cutting move to sign other free agents.
With the Patriots’ Week 1 opener just over a week away, we’re not 100% sure what this move means. Two of the top names on the free-agent market at wide receiver, Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon, are obviously not of interest to the Patriots. Both bombed out in their short time in New England.
Could former Pro Bowler Dez Bryant be a realistic option here? What about a potential trade? Time will tell on that front.
Mohamed Sanu trade is now one of the worst in Patriots franchise history
Sanu caught 26 passes for 207 yards in eight games with the Patriots. They yielded a valuable second-round pick in return for the veteran receiver. Running back J.K. Dobbins ended up going to the Baltimore Ravens (via Atlanta) with the second rounder (55th overall) New England dealt away in the Sanu trade.
An historical performer during his time at Ohio State, Dobbins is set to take the NFL by storm. If he emerges into an elite player, this trade will go down as one of the worst in Patriots franchise history.