The next piece of the Julio Jones to the New England Patriots story has arrived. Per NFL.com’s Mike Giardi, the Patriots have had internal discussions about trading for the future Hall-of-Famer.
Giardi declined to comment on a rumor that says Jones wants to play with Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, but he did give the New England fanbase hungry for some good news, something to make them happy.
Can’t speak to what Julio Jones wants, but was told the #Patriots have had internal discussions about the wide receiver. The 32-year old had been incredibly durable until this past season when he dealt with a troublesome hamstring.
This bit of information follows former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi saying he believes the Patriots would be interested in the deal, and the Athletic’s Jeff Schultz confirming the Patriots would like to deal their star wide receiver.
The steady build-up toward what could be the most significant trade of the season in the NFL has football gaining a bit more attention than expected in May.
Patriots Players react to the Trade Rumors
When players start to react to trade rumors, an extra layer of importance is added to the story. It doesn’t mean a trade for Jones is now more likely, but players don’t usually take notice or hop on social media to respond to every piece of scuttlebutt.
Patriots running back posted the eye emojis to Bleacher Report’s post, referencing Giardi’s tweet:
— Damien Harris (@DHx34) May 22, 2021
Harris would likely love to have Jones join the Patriots. Both men are Alabama alums, and Harris has to know that Jones’ presence could automatically elevate New England to Super Bowl contention.
Current starting free safety Devin McCourty liked the image from Bleacher Report as well, and the official Twitter account from WEEI’s Gresh and Keefe screenshot the engagement.
— Gresh & Keefe (@GreshKeefe) May 22, 2021
The positive vibes associated with the potential trade aren’t just coming from Patriots players. Patriots beat writers like CLNS’ Evan Lazar fantasized about the Patriots’ offense if the team trades for Jones.
He asks, who’s stopping this offense?
I don’t have the cool graphic but who is stopping this #Patriots offense:
QB – Cam/Mac
X – Julio Jones
Z – Nelson Agholor
Y – Hunter Henry
H – Jonnu Smith
RB – Harris/Sony/White
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) May 21, 2021
This lineup doesn’t even include Jakobi Meyers, who could be a valuable sub or intriguing rookie wide receiver Tre Nixon, whose speed could make him a vertical threat.
When Might We See the Trade Happen?
If you’re wanting to find out definitively if the Falcons are dealing Jones to the Patriots, you’ll have to endure nearly two more weeks of speculation and talk.
If the Falcons trade Jones, it won’t happen before June 2. According to salary cap rules, the Falcons would lose money if they traded Jones before June 2, per Patriots salary cap expert Miguel Bezan, who Full Press Coverage’s Mike D’Abate quoted in the tweet below.
The Falcons would lose close to 900K in cap space if they trade Jones before June 2nd. Trading him on June 2nd creates about $14.6M in cap space.
— Mike D’Abate (@mdabateFPC) May 22, 2021
If they trade Jones on or after June 2, the move will create $14.6 million in cap space for the Falcons. Bezan breaks down the entire salary cap situation for the Patriots if they trade for Jones in a string of three tweets below:
Bumping up for the splendid Saturday/Sunday crowd. https://t.co/WFpWnbtUjz
— Cap Space=$15,078,316 (@patscap) May 22, 2021
New England would probably have to give up a second-round pick and perhaps a young veteran like N’Keal Harry to get the Falcons to pull the trigger.
This deal is possible and potentially beneficial for both teams. We’ll have to wait and see if it becomes perhaps the final piece of the Patriots’ major overhaul.