Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



The New England Patriots fell to 2-2 this season following a 33-30 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. With input from a range of league insiders, ESPN senior writer Mike Sando put together a list of potential trade targets around the NFL who he feels could help the Patriots this season. It is important to note that the Patriots have not necessarily shown interest in any of the names on the list. The players are simply ones who Sando believes would be a good fit for New England – at various costs.

The San Francisco 49ers player who made the list was edge defender Aaron Lynch. He was in on just 25 of the 49ers' 86 defensive plays on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. That number is three fewer than Elvis Dumervil, who got to quarterback Carson Palmer twice.

"[Lynch] had 12.5 sacks in his first two seasons, and has 2.5 in 10 games since then," wrote Sando. "He's in the final year of his rookie contract and could help a team that feels it might need to bolster its pass rush to contend."

Lynch was once considered to be among the top pass rushers in the NFL and has been fighting for playing time this season at the Leo position on the 49ers defense. While he was listed as questionable for the 49ers' season opener, Lynch was inactive for that game against the Carolina Panthers and it had nothing to do with an injury.

"It was coach's decision," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said following the Week 1 contest. "We had to think of what D-linemen we wanted up, and we felt we needed some backups inside."

As for the Patriots, one NFL executive said the following, according to Sando: "They are not bad up front. They just don't have an elite, dominant rusher. That is what is hurting them."

What is Lynch's worth according to one NFL insider? That unnamed source told Sando the 49ers could see a sixth-round draft pick in return for the pass rusher while another insider said he can't see New England going after Lynch at all because of character concerns.

Lynch is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 season.