1. JC Jackson (via sign-and-trade) for Calvin Ridley
The Patriots missed out on acquiring more talent at this year’s trade deadline, but now it’s possible they’re better positioned to make something happen in that space because of the existing talent on the roster.
This might be an intriguing scenario to consider, and it’d no doubt help both teams. With Ridley entering the final year of his rookie contract and JC Jackson entering what’s expected to be a wealthy offseason, maybe we can see a one-of-a-kind deal here.
If the Patriots aren’t going to re-sign Jackson and if the Falcons are parting with Ridley, why not talk about working out a trade that requires both star players to sign big contracts with their new teams? We’re sure Atlanta would love to add a turnover machine in Jackson (though they’d really have to figure out their cap situation, like we mentioned earlier) and the Patriots would prefer to guarantee Ridley remains in New England alongside Jones for longer than a year.
You might argue Jackson is a more valuable player than Ridley, and you’d probably be right, but in this scenario, assuming Belichick isn’t willing to make Jackson one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the game, the Pats would be getting a talent in Ridley for essentially nothing since Jackson is set to be an unrestricted free agent. New England can slap the franchise tag on Jackson and work out a deal with the Falcons that includes Jackson agreeing to a long-term contract, and they can re-work the financials to backload the deal given their troublesome fiscal outlook for the near future.
One more weapon for Mac Jones can make this offense a serious threat. It just depends how far the Patriots are willing to go to make it happen if Ridley is of interest.