On Friday, New England Patriots veteran quarterback Tom Brady gave an honest assessment about the young members of the team’s receiving corps, which include undrafted rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski. The 42-year-old Brady told reporters that the young receivers are trying their best to help the team win. “They’re young. I was young; I was trying once, too. I just didn’t have to play my first year, so it’s a little different,” said Brady.

As part of their job, Brady said it’s the duty of young wideouts to learn the team’s playbook, absorb knowledge from the coaches and always be on their designated spots all the time.

Aside from Meyers and Olszewski, the Patriots also have veterans Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett and special teamer Matthew Slater as wide receivers. Rookie wideout N’Keal Harry, the Patriots’ first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is scheduled to return from injury in Week 9.

Patriots’ receiving corps under scrutiny

The Patriots’ receiving corps is under intense scrutiny since the departure of talented receiver Antonio Brown and Brady’s less-than-stellar performance in their 16-10 win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. Brady completed just 18 of 39 passes for 150 yards and an interception against the Bills, but the Patriots (4-0) emerged unscathed with the help of their outstanding defense.

However, the Patriots are well aware that the lack of depth at wide receiver could derail their march towards a seventh Super Bowl trophy. The Patriots created a huge splash when they signed Brown to a one-year, $15 million deal. The signing further solidified the Patriots’ status as a favorite to win the Super Bowl. However, things did not go as planned as Brown was released after 11 days due to his off-field legal troubles.

The release also inflicted a $5 million hit on the Patriots’ salary cap room, restricting them from signing or trading for another big-name wide receiver. There were reports that the Patriots are eyeing to acquire the services of either Stefon Diggs of the Minnesota Vikings, Emmanuel Sanders of the Denver Broncos and A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals before the Oct.

29 trade deadline.

Patriots could turn their focus on Sanders

While the Vikings declared that they will not trade Diggs because he can be an asset in their playoff push, the Bengals and the Broncos are open to trading Green and Sanders. According to NFL insider Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, he will not be surprised if the Patriots pursue a trade for Sanders. “It wouldn’t shock me,” said Glazer, saying the Patriots have a history of signing big-name receivers in the past years.

Last year, Glazer said the Patriots tried to trade for Randall Cobb but were rebuffed. “Obviously, they’re looking for another receiver there, which is why they brought in Antonio Brown. So, it wouldn’t surprise me,” said Glazer.

In 2013, the Patriots signed Sanders to an offer sheet while he was in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers matched it.

According to Phil Perry and Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports, Sanders is more affordable via trade compared to Diggs with just $13 million in salary cap hit in the final year of his deal. The Patriots could make several roster moves to create space in their current salary cap, but it would affect their ability to add quality players in the near future.