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Who are the Patriots most frequent trade partners?

08.07.10 at 3:17 pm ET

If the Patriots were going to try and swing a deal to try and create more depth either at outside linebacker/defensive end or left guard, who is New England’€™s likeliest trade partner? Based on how the Patriots have operated in recent years, here are a few of the prime candidates:

Oakland: Ah, yes. The Raiders. Since Bill Belichick took over the Patriots in 2000, the Patriots have made eight trades with Oakland, more than any other team in the league. New England and Oakland have made blockbuster deals (sending Richard Seymour to the Raiders last September in exchange for Oakland’€™s No. 1 pick in 2011), as well as relatively low level deals. There doesn’€™t appear to be a wide variety of possible trade scenarios, but as we know, when it comes to dealing with the Raiders, all bets are off. Oakland does have Robert Gallery penciled in as their starting left guard, a 30-year-old who has spent the last six seasons with the Raiders. And at outside linebacker, one intriguing name is Kamerion Wimbley, a pass-rusher for the previous four seasons in Cleveland before he landed with the Raiders this past offseason. It’s unlikely Oakland would deal him so quickly after acquiring him, but again, with the Raiders, you never know. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Wimbley had 11 sacks in 2006 with the Browns in their 3-4 scheme.

Chicago: The Patriots and Bears have made five deals since 2000, with the most notable coming in 2003 when New England acquired nose tackle Ted Washington in August of that season in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Again, no real names jump out when it comes to possible trade scenarios ‘€” the Bears appear thin at the left guard spot with Johan Asiata and Josh Beekman believed to have the best shot at the starting job. (They have tried former right guard Roberto Garza at that spot during camp as well.) The Bears, who signed Julius Peppers in the offseason, don’€™t appear to have another pure pass rusher on the roster ‘€” their best pass rusher last season was defensive end Adewale Ogunleye (6 1/2 sacks last season), who did not return to Chicago, and worked out for the Patriots last week.

Baltimore: This kind of surprised us initially, but when you consider that Belichick and Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome and tight, it shouldn’€™t be that much of a shocker that these two teams have made five trades since 2000, tied for second on our list. However, these two teams have never really consummated a blockbuster of a deal, preferring instead to make most of their trades around either draft weekend or lower-level deals like the acquisition of linebacker Prescott Burgess last September. In terms of possible trade scenarios, it appears that the Patriots and Ravens don’€™t really match up ‘€” left guard Ben Grubbs likely isn’€™t going to be traded (strange how that works with Pro Bowlers….) and their pass rushers in Jarret Johnson and Terrell Suggs are key parts of the Baltimore defensive scheme.

Denver: The Patriots and Broncos have made four deals since 2000, but like Baltimore, they’€™ve all been relatively low-impact trades. Forget the idea that Denver would be interested in dealing any of its pass-rush help ‘€” they just suffered a terrific blow with the injury to Elvis Dumervil, so the Broncos could possibly be jockeying with the Patriots for the services of Aaron Schobel. As for left guard, that might be a possibility, as the Broncos recently shuffled their lineup at that position, inserting rookie Zane Beadles at the spot and demoting Seth Olsen to backup. That situation does bear watching.

Kansas City and Atlanta: While the two teams have only made one combined deal with New England since 2000 (the trade of Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs in the spring of 2009), these two teams have to be figured into the mix because of the relationship Belichick has with Kansas City’€™s Scott Pioli and Atlanta’€™s Thomas Dimitroff, two GMs who cut their teeth with the Patriots. That being said, there don’€™t appear to be many possible scenarios where New England could pry away an impact player from the Chiefs ‘€” Kansas City left guard Brian Waters has clashed with Pioli before, but is a local institution in Missouri and 33 years old. (In addition, the Chiefs are looking to add pass rushers, not trade any away ‘€” they had 22 sacks last year, 2nd worst in the NFL.) Meanwhile, the Falcons aren’€™t likely to part with any of their offensive linemen or any pass-rushing linebackers ‘€” they had just 28 sacks last season, tied for third-fewest in the NFC.

Some of the other frequent trade partners the Patriots have had under Belichick: Green Bay and New Orleans (four trades with the Patriots since 2000);  St. Louis, Washington, Houston and Arizona (three trades); San Francisco, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Jacksonville, Dallas, Miami, Tennessee, Carolina, Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia (two trades).

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