Patriots were reportedly in ‘high-speed pursuit’ of Xavier Worthy


Before the Chiefs traded up with the Bills to select Worthy, the Patriots were reportedly interested in the Texas speedster.

Xavier Worthy was drafted by the Chiefs in the 2024 NFL Draft, but the Patriots were reportedly interested in him. AP Photo/Michael Conroy

Before the Patriots selected Ja’Lynn Polk in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft, they might have had their eyes on a few receivers who went late in the first round and early in the second round.

Former Patriots executive Michael Lombardi believes Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy was one of them.

“New England was in high-speed pursuit of Worthy,” Lombardi said on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “They wanted Worthy badly. They were making calls to get that pick. Buffalo had them on the phone, and so was Kansas City.”

Of course, the Patriots didn’t get Worthy. Instead, the Chiefs wound up selecting the speedster, executing a trade with the Bills to move up from the 32nd overall pick to the 28th pick to do so. Kansas City and Buffalo swapped picks in the later rounds as part of the deal, with the Bills receiving third- and seventh-round selections while the Chiefs got fourth- and seventh-round picks.

Worthy, who impressed evaluators at the combine with his record 4.21 run in the 40-yard dash, isn’t the only receiver the Patriots were linked to following the draft. After the Bills traded down to No. 32, the Patriots tried to get the final of the first round from their division rival to either select South Carolina’s Xavier Legette or Florida State’s Keon Coleman, ESPN’s Mike Reiss previously reported.

The Bills rebuked the Patriots’ reported attempts to get the 32nd pick, opting to trade it to the Panthers instead in a deal for the 33rd overall pick. Carolina picked Legette with the pick and Buffalo selected Coleman a pick later as New England was on the clock with the 34th pick.

Lombardi understood why the Bills might not have wanted to trade with the Patriots, recalling that Al Davis would tell him that one thing they wouldn’t do was make trades with division rivals during his time with the Raiders. However, he questioned why the Bills were willing to make a trade with the Chiefs instead.

“I think if you’re [Bills general manager] Brandon Beane, you have to sit there and say, ‘Yeah, maybe Kansas City offered me a lot more. But why would I give Worthy to them, who’s a weapon, who could become the next Tyreek Hill for them?’” Lombardi said.

“I don’t understand that. I would’ve been more than happy to give him to the Patriots, who are working with a new regime and a new quarterback. In three years, if Worthy’s a player that’s great, they’re ready to go. But I’m worried about today and helping the Chiefs out is the last thing I want to do.”

The Patriots opted to trade down from the 34th pick as a result of the aforementioned moves, getting the 38th pick from the Chargers. Los Angeles drafted Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey with the pick while New England selected Polk with the 38th pick. Additionally, the Patriots nabbed UCF wide receiver Javon Baker with the fourth-round pick it got in the deal.

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