News broke yesterday that Julio Jones is now officially a Tennessee Titan. At one point it seemed like every NFL team was interested in trading for the star wide receiver. The Titans ultimately won out and Jones will be lining up alongside A.J. Green and Derrick Henry in 2021.
One of the teams reportedly interested in Julio Jones was the New England Patriots. It was claimed that Jones wanted to play with Patriots quarterback Cam Newton.
Why did the Patriots pass on Julio Jones?
NFL insiders stated that the Atlanta Falcons wanted a first round draft pick for Jones, but that did not happen. Tennessee ended up giving up second and fourth round picks while taking on Julio Jones’ hefty salary going forward.
New England were simply not willing to pay that price for the 32-year-old wide receiver. It’s important to note that the Patriots spent more than $70 million on tight ends Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith and wide receiver Nelson Agholor this offseason.
The Patriots also recently whiffed on trading for another veteran wide receiver, Mohamed Sanu, which cost them a second-round draft pick. Sanu proved to be a bust in a Pats uniform and he was released during training camp in 2020.
Does Bill Belichick have his eyes on another player?
New England still has 16.4 million in cap space so they have room to acquire another star player. There have been rumors of the Patriots looking at Odell Beckham Jr. if he were to become available this season.
Another option is to sign star cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a long-term deal. At present, Gilmore is making just $7 million this season in the final year of his contract. The Pats could decide to extend him or the front office may see him as a declining asset who they will let go after the season.