03 Mar 2005
This might be the most intriguing trade of the off-season so far (Randy Moss who?). Seriously, I'd be interested to hear how Patriots fans feel about New England giving up a third round pick for cornerback Duane Starks. He's currently in the middle of a 5-year $23 million contract, he's undersized (5-10, 174 lbs.), and often injured. And he's also not very physical -- something the Patriots like in their cornerbacks to help defend against the run.
New England gave up a 2nd rounder for Corey Dillon last year, but there were only questions about his attitude, not his durability. Starks apparently raises concerns in both categories. And given the Patriots track record with successfully turning draft picks into productive players, this move seems curious.
A Super Bowl berth could be decided by the Patriots' ability to contain Le'Veon Bell -- and by Pittsburgh's ability to avoid their usual defensive breakdowns against New England.