Patriots: Projecting starting offense if Bill Belichick pulls off Julio Jones trade

The New England Patriots had one of the most active offseasons in the league, and they look poised to remain engaged now that a fresh new batch of trade rumors have sprouted up.

The Atlanta Falcons once looked poised to have one of the league’s best passing games, but they could upend that if they end up trading away Julio Jones. 

Jones is still the NFL’s all-time leader in receiving yards per game, and while he did miss some time last season due to injury, that doesn’t change the fact that he is one of the few genuine game-changers in the game today, and he could have a profound effect in New England.

For reasons that escape the bounds of logic and common sense, the Falcons seem willing to tank by trading Jones despite having passed on a quarterback at No. 4 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

If Jones is indeed on the market, Belichick needs to drop whatever he is doing in order to make sure No. 11 ends up in New England.

The Patriots have long been listed as a potential favorite to land Jones in a trade, and they might need to pull the trigger soon, as players of his caliber very rarely get thrown into the rumor mill. The offseason — polished off with Jones at the X receiver spot — would be insanely good.

New England Patriots offense with Julio Jones

  • QB: Cam Newton
  • RB: Damien Harris
  • WR: Julio Jones, Nelson Agholor
  • TE: Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry
  • OT: Isaiah Wynn, Trent Brown
  • OG: Michael Onwenu, Shaq Mason
  • C: David Andrews

The Patriots will likely operate out of two tight-end sets most of the time, as the signings of Smith and Henry show that Bill Belichick is scrapping his playbook from last season. Jones will start alongside Nelson Agholor, while Kendrick Bourne will also get time in three-wide sets. Jakobi Meyers might lose snaps or be included in the package headed to Atlanta.

Newton didn’t have the best statistical season in his partial 2020, but it’s hard to really be a game-changing passer when you are throwing to one of the worst groups of receivers in the league or operating in a truncated offense. Jones will fix that in two seconds.

Damien Harris ends up in the backfield as the starting running back, and New England will lean on the expected starting lineup combination of Wynn, Onwenu, Andrews, Mason, and Brown from left to right.

The Patriots have shown they are willing to break kayfabe and get aggressive if it means they can get back to the championship tier, and trading for Jones could be the battery in their back that they need in order to really become an elite team. He will cost a ton, but that offense is mouth-watering.