The New England Patriots appeared ready to roll with Cam Newton and their armada of new receiving talents, but a late-offseason trade rumor could force the Patriots to completely disregard that plan in order to acquire one of the game’s premier players at any position in Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones.
While he has missed some time due to injury, Jones is still as dominant as ever, and No. 11 making the journey to New England could help him turn the Patriots into a win-now contender despite the selection of Mac Jones.
Any team with half a brain and the means with which they could trade for him will at least give Terry Fontenot a call.
Despite the competition, NBC Sports Boston thinks that Newton and the Patriots might have a slight edge over some competition.
Michael Holley claims that Jones is eyeing Newton as his next quarterback, which could get the gears turning as New England tries to facilitate a trade.
Holley also hinted at the apparent fact that Jones thinks Matt Ryan’s deep ball is starting to fail him, while Newton could potentially extend his career.
Patriots: Will Cam Newton be an upgrade over Matt Ryan?
Ryan has topped 9,000 yards and 52 touchdowns over the last two seasons, so Ryan’s decline might be slightly overstated. However, there is reason to believe that Newton could be more like the MVP we saw in Carolina instead of the injured shell of himself that New England trotted out last year.
Newton lacked receivers, his offensive line was going through some turmoil, and he was playing in a Josh McDaniels offense that looked as if he scrapped half the pages in his playbook. With Jones on the field, McDaniels will clearly air it out more.
The Patriots have been willing to trade late-round draft picks every other day, but giving away first-rounders and players with high value has typically been something this front office has stayed away from. Having said that, a player like Jones doesn’t come on the market very often, and New England needs to be proactive in getting him.
Newton is a bit of a gamble as a starter, as a player coming off of an injury-plagued season at his age shouldn’t give New England a ton of confidence in his ability to stick in the starting lineup for all 16 games. However, if Jones is set on playing with Newton, the Patriots should go full steam ahead and try to put this championship contender together.