Win for the Falcons?
Hopes were high for Atlanta heading into this season yet general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who got his start in the front office over in Foxborough, has seen his team make a dismal 1-6 start to the season.
However the offense has sputtered this year and struggled even more so given the woeful performances of the defense. The trading of Sanu indicates that Dimitroff recognises that this season is lost.
Only a season ago Sanu put up 838 yards for the Falcons to go with 703 in 2017, which is certainly acceptable for a WR2. However, the progression of Ridley last year, as well as Sanu’s age (30) have made him more expendable.
This year Sanu is 3rd in targets and 4th in receiving yards on the team. However the difference between Sanu and Ridley’s stats is minimal: 33 receptions to 29; 313 yards to 373. A second round pick for the 3rd/4th option in the passing game who is also in his age 30 season, must represent a win for Dimitroff.
For the Patriots this seems a bit of an unusual move. They sit 5th in the league in pass yards/game and have young talented receivers with upside in Phillip Dorsett and Josh Gordon (though Gordon has been injured since the Giants game and Dorsett has never lived up to his first round pedigree).
However Sanu would have the second highest number of receiving yards for the Patriots behind Edelman and he’s put up those numbers on a floundering team.
Giving up New England’s only 2020 second round pick for Sanu seems a high price to pay though. That certainly reflects their concerns about injuries to their receiver room and may indicate that the Pats are likely to evolve further away from the run-centric team they were last year.
Sanu will certainly improve the Patriots offense though this would feel like more of a win for Belichick and co if it had been a third rounder they’d given up.