As a fourth-round pick back in 2016, Malcolm Mitchell was not necessarily expected to be a major contributor to the New England Patriots right away. The Pats had entrenched options ahead of him on the depth chart so Mitchell's career started slow, but he came on down the stretch of his rookie year and eventually finished with 32 catches for 401 yards and four touchdowns -- a solid, if relatively unspectacular debut season.
Mitchell then played a major role in the Patriots' miraculous comeback victory over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, catching six passes for 70 yards as the Pats staged their comeback. A knee injury knocked him out for the entire 2017 campaign, however, and he's fallen behind on the team's depth chart.
As such, the Patriots have been seeking trade partners in exchange for Mitchell's services, according to NFL.com's Tom Pelissero.
New England indeed has a crowded depth chart at wide receiver, even with Julian Edelman suspended for the first four games of the year. Chris Hogan is still in town, as are holdovers Phillip Dorsett and Kenny Britt; they've been supplemented by offseason acquisitions Cordarrelle Patterson and Jordan Matthews, as well as draft pick Braxton Berrios. That's a lot of bodies -- seven of them, if you include Edelman. There aren't many teams that carry more than six wideouts to begin with, and that's before you consider the fact that the Pats also keep Matthew Slater on the roster, and he's ostensibly a receiver in addition to a special teams guru.
Mitchell is still young, having just turned 25 years old last week. He still has good size for the position at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds. He's a strong athlete with good hands and he's shown that he can have success at this level. There are surely teams out there that would be willing to have him. The only question is what the Pats can get in return.