The NFL offseason is starting to heat up again for New England Patriots fans amid the team’s ongoing links to Julio Jones, who’s seemingly a lock to be traded after he revealed on national television that he wants out of Atlanta…when he may or may not have known he was on the air.
That speculation was confirmed when several league insiders reported that Jones requested a trade from the Falcons several months ago. With trade talks heating up, the Patriots have reportedly had “internal discussions” about acquiring Jones, and they’re every anonymous NFL executive’s favorite to do so.
Given their financial flexibility — they currently have $15.9 million in remaining cap space — they could inherit Jones’ contract without a hitch.
In fact, all the Pats would have to do is convert some of the seven-time Pro Bowler’s upcoming salary into a signing bonus.
In any event, it would appear these rumors are beginning to make the rounds in the Patriots’ locker room. As one diehard fan pointed out on Twitter, several players’ latest social media activity suggests they really want to see Jones in New England.
This included Trent Brown taking it upon himself to recruit Jones and both Damien Harris and Devin McCourty liking the same tweet that confirmed the Patriots’ interest.
Patriots players clearly want to see the team trade for Julio Jones.
You have to think these tweets/likes made their way to Jones already, so credit to Brown, McCourty and Harris for taking the initiative.
Of course, Brown’s tweet came after Jones’ earth-shattering appearance on “Undisputed” on Monday morning when he told Shannon Sharpe he’s leaving the Falcons and clarified that he wants to play for a winner (and not the Cowboys).
Luckily for the Patriots, they might qualify as such after their free agent spending spree and excellent showing in last month’s draft. As long as Cam Newton plays with consistency under center after a full offseason of getting acclimated to the playbook, a superstar WR is really the only piece separating this roster from becoming a real threat in the AFC.
It remains to be seen if Jones is interested in joining the Patriots. However, a report from NBC Sports Boston claimed he’s eyeing Newton as his next quarterback. Taking that into account, it really seems like the stars are aligning for Jones to end up in Foxborough.
The Patriots will obviously have to fend off Jones’ other suitors (he’ll likely have plenty if the Falcons are actually willing to trade him for a second-round pick), but you can guarantee he’ll receive a warm welcome from New England’s locker room if they end up pulling the trigger.