Could Patriots explore Dugger trade if contract talks fall through?

Could Patriots explore Dugger trade if contract talks fall through? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The future of one of the New England Patriots‘ better defenders is still undecided.

The Patriots placed the transition tag on safety Kyle Dugger last month, which gave Dugger a one-year, $13.8 million placeholder contract while allowing him to explore his options in free agency. If another team offers Dugger a better deal, the Patriots would have the opportunity to match it and keep him in New England at the same price.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, it sounds like Dugger isn’t thrilled with his current situation.

The 28-year-old “remains dissatisfied” with the transition tag and has yet to sign it, the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan reported Monday.

If the Patriots can’t find common ground with Dugger, might they explore trading the four-year veteran? Callahan noted it’s “unlikely” Dugger would fetch more than a fourth-round pick on the trade market, citing the Tennessee Titans recently giving the Kansas City Chiefs a 2025 third-round pick for cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, who is a year younger than Dugger and plays a more premium position.

Would New England really part with one of its defensive leaders for a Day 3 draft pick?

The case for trading Dugger involves the presence of safeties Jabrill Peppers and Marte Mapu and the recent addition of backup Jaylinn Hawkins. Peppers played arguably the best season of his career in 2023, so if the Patriots are confident enough in Mapu, they might be more willing to part with Dugger, especially if they can find a safety on a cheap rookie contract in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Then again, Dugger is viewed as a veteran leader in the Patriots’ locker room and would provide further continuity on a team that’s undergoing a major transition this offseason. New England has prioritized re-signing its own free agents to date, and head coach Jerod Mayo clearly views Dugger as part of that veteran “core.”

“Kyle is a talented player with a strong work ethic who has improved every year and been extremely productive since joining our team in 2020,” Mayo told reporters last month. “We value players with high character and chose to use the transition designation to give both sides more time to try to reach a long-term agreement, which is our goal with Kyle.”

It sounds like the ideal scenario would be a long-term deal that gives Dugger financial security while lowering his cap hit for the 2024 season. If those talks break down, however, perhaps the Patriots would explore getting some return for their talented safety.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top