New England Patriots: Now that the Julio Jones door is closed

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New England Patriots

wide receiver Julio Jones (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

With the Tennessee Titans wrapping up a deal for Julio Jones for a not-so-great price (?), it’s now time for the New England Patriots to move forward.

As reported, the cost for Jones was this,

The Falcons have announced that the team has agreed to terms on a trade that will send receiver Julio Jones to the Titans. Atlanta gets Tennessee’s second-round pick in 2022 and fourth-round pick in 2023. The Titans get Jones and Atlanta’s sixth-round pick in 2023…

Jones presumably will be required to pass a physical before the transaction becomes official. The Titans will also need to do a little salary-cap magic to absorb Jones’ $15.3 million charge foe 2021. Barring something entirely unexpected at this point, Jones is a Titan.

In 2020, the Patriots had two second-round picks. One was Kyle Dugger who had a fine season The other was Josh Uche who flashed a bit but produced little.

Their second-round pick in 2019 was Joejuan Williams who has 23 tackles with no interceptions or sacks in his two seasons in New England. Who knows if he’ll even make the team this year.

The same ole’ story for the New England Patriots

The point of this short history lesson (it is far worse if you look back 20 years at the team’s second rounds picks in total) is that these second-rounder Patriots picks are often throw-away picks.

Many have flopped and they don’t really seem to value fourth-rounders all that much either. They parted with two fourth-rounders plus their own second-round pick this year for Christian Barmore.

The fact is, there had been many drafts and many high picks that couldn’t even warrant a place on the field never mind deliver what their draft positions suggested.

With this lack of draft success, the failure to outbid the Titans for a Hall of Fame wide receiver is judged here to be even more ill-advised.

In fact, they may not have even had to outbid the Titans since it may be presumed at present that New England’s picks could be higher than Tennessee’s. There wasn’t that much at risk in sending out the two picks, at all.

Yet, Jones’s cap hit of $15m+ or so was certainly an issue. But, the team has cap space and could have maneuvered around it. In addition, next year a lot more cap space might be freed up, as well.

The Patriots’ personnel operation has seldom been one to elicit praise from those who really paid attention.

Yet, in an uncharacteristically aggressive offseason, fueled by last season’s flop and the owner’s clear directive to get better (more on that later), they did a solid job, much better than usual, at least on paper this offseason.

That’s until now. They had a chance to add a top, No. 1 wide receiver to their team (that doesn’t have one and needs one desperately) after the retirement of Julian Edelman and they passed.

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