Because the Patriots enter the 2024 offseason with a high draft pick and around $70 million in cap space, many ideas are being tossed around about who they should draft and the best way to spend that money.
With free agency beginning over a month before the draft and plenty of superior talent set to be testing the market next month, plenty of fantasy signings or trade scenarios are making waves on the internet.
For the most part, fans are talking about those hypothetical situations on social media. But this latest idea comes from Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd, who felt inspired by a recent report published by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler regarding the draft.
The longtime writer speculated which teams may be inclined to trade up in the draft for a quarterback, listing the Las Vegas Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings as two teams to watch. Because it would take a lot for either team to do so, with the Raiders at 13 and the Vikings at 11, Cowherd threw an idea together about how the Vikings could trade with the Patriots for the coveted third overall pick.
And the best part about it is who he believes the Patriots could get in return for trading their selection.
"What does New England desperately need? A playmaker. I'll give you next year's (first-round pick) and Justin Jefferson to go from 11 to 3, because they've already got Jordan Addison, they've got the tight end (T.J. Hockenson) they like. They've got skill players. Next year's one and Justin Jefferson to move up to the number three spot to get your quarterback."
Upon first hearing this idea, it seems brilliant since the Patriots have desperately needed a game-changing wide receiver since Tom Brady was still on the team. Some believe Jerod Mayo and Co. should forgo taking a quarterback with their first-round pick and take Marvin Harrison Jr., who is being touted as a generational talent at the wide receiver position in this year's class.
However, the biggest question would be if the Vikings would truly consider moving on from their most productive offensive weapon in several years. They would certainly benefit from moving up into the top-5 picks to get their next franchise quarterback, and they'd only be giving up one first-rounder to do so, which is the most ideal as well.
For the Patriots, landing Justin Jefferson would immediately make the Patriots' offense a far bigger threat than it has been in a very long time and giving up just one first-round pick seems like a steal for a player considered to be one of, if not the best, in the league.
It would also mean the Patriots would have two first-rounders next year, which could be especially useful if they pass on taking any quarterbacks this year and go the bridge QB route instead.
In addition, moving from the third pick to the 11th allows them to still target a quarterback, potentially J.J. McCarthy or Michael Penix Jr., if they want to go that route. They can also grab another top receiver or tackle, both of which are deep classes this year.
So whatever happens in free agency will likely determine the chances of this scenario happening, plus the Vikings' difficult decision to move on from Jefferson far earlier than they probably want to. But they were in a similar spot with Stefon Diggs in 2019, who they moved on from in the final year of his rookie deal before having to pay him a presumed league-high contract.
Maybe they'd be open to doing the same with Jefferson since Jordan Addison is waiting in the wings.