Wide receiver was a clear need for the Patriots last off-season. With star slot receiver Wes Welker gone, the Pats were returning only Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater as receivers, and both were primarily special teams players at the time.

Many fans clamored for them to either sign a big free agent like Greg Jennings or Mike Wallace, or to trade for one, such as Larry Fitzgerald.

Apparently, the latter was indeed in the cards.

It's unclear how much interested they did show, and if that interest ever went as far as conversation with the Cardinals. Fitzgerald is still one of the top receivers in the league, and would add a dynamic player on the outside that would force opposing teams to respect the sidelines against the Patriots. This would leave things open for players like Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman (if re-signed) to wreak havoc on the inside.

The Pats ended up signing Danny Amendola and undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins as well as drafting Aaron Dobson in the second round and later Josh Boyce in the fourth.

Fitzgerald had a productive year this year, with 82 catches, 954 yards and 10 touchdowns. That's an improvement in all three areas from he was at this point last year. With new coach Bruce Arians and some solid play from quarterback Carson Palmer, the Cards asking price for Fitzgerald will probably only be going up, if they are dangling him out there at all. The Cardinals nearly made the playoffs this year so it wouldn't make much sense for them to blow it up now, especially with no other receiver really separating themselves on the roster.

The Pats are in a similar position now as they were last year, with receiver being a top need on the team. Could they revisit a trade for Fitzgerald? It would surprise many if they did, but Belichick is often full of surprises.

Unknown 1/28/2014 04:04:00 PM Edit

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