In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, the Falcons made their first substantial move of the 2019 season by trading veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots for a second-round pick – Adam Shefter of ESPN initially reported.
Another trade: Falcons are sending WR Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots in exchange for a second-round pick, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 22, 2019
With the team 1-6 and way out of the playoff race, it makes the most sense for them to start looking towards the future. Sanu had become expendable after the Falcons drafted Calvin Ridley to pair with Julio Jones in 2018. Not only does Atlanta pick up a valuable second-round pick in the process, but they also clear over $7 million in cap space for 2020, which was something they needed to start doing. Before this trade, the Falcons were projected to be $8 million over the 2020 cap with their current roster.
Many were questioning the value of Sanu on the trade market, but this deal shows just useful teams around the league view his services. Sanu may not be a #1 receiver, but he does all the little things that make an offense hum. He’ll be a tremendous addition to the Patriots as they aim to win back-to-back Super Bowls; however, the Falcons had no choice but to pull the trigger on this trade. A second-round pick is too much for them to pass up in their current position. This is one of those rare moves that will likely work out for both sides. The Pats get significantly better offensively, while the Falcons add a relatively high draft pick and clear cap space for next year.
Sanu was in his fourth season with Atlanta, finishing with 66 receptions and a career-high 838 receiving yards in 2018. He has 33 catches for 313 yards through seven games this season.