3 Moves Patriots Need to Make Next After J.C. Jackson Trade

Three moves the New England Patriots should make next after trading for cornerback J.C. Jackson ahead of Week 5.
Three moves the New England Patriots should make next after trading for cornerback J.C. Jackson ahead of Week 5. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Trade for Mike Evans or Jerry Jeudy

The start to the 2023 season has made it even more painfully clear the Patriots are hurting themselves by not having a true top wide receiver target.

Offseason signing JuJu Smith-Schuster already looks like a bust, which is a catastrophic backfire since New England pegged him as its new WR1. Outside of Kendrick Bourne (175 receiving yards), none of the Pats' wideouts have really stood out, and it's actually tight end Hunter Henry who actually leads the team in yards at 176.

This squad is not going to seriously contend with this current receiving corps, making a move necessary. Again, New England's in luck with several receivers available in some capacity around the league right now who could immediately step into the WR1 role.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Mike Evans sticks out as the ideal trade target. The perennial 1,000-yard threat is off to a another strong start with the Bucs, but the two sides failing to agree to a contract extension opens the door for Evans to walk this spring in free agency. If Tampa Bay is open to moving the four-time Pro Bowler, the Patriots should make a lucrative offer.

Evans would give quarterback Mac Jones the exact kind of reliable star playmaker he's been missing for quite some time. At a towering 6-foot-5, Evans offers a big-bodied target who can go up and make contested catches with ease, which should instantly help the Pats' red zone issues. His reliability as a deep threat would also open up the Patriots' air attack in a way that it desperately needs, especially considering the attention he'd draw from opposing defenses.

Meanwhile, the Broncos may be on the verge of a fire sale after their lackluster start to the Sean Payton era, and WR Jerry Jeudy could easily be one of the first guys moved.

While he's not a giant (6-foot-1) like Evans, he's still a legitimate force with the ball in his hands. He's coming off of a breakout 2022 season that saw him post career highs in receptions (67), receiving yards (972) and touchdowns (6). He's also a serious downfield threat, as evidenced by his career average of a whopping 14.6 yards per catch.

Jeudy has youth on his side as well at only 24 years old, meaning he's just scratched the surface of his full potential yet. It's clear Evans isn't slowing down anytime soon, either, so either guy could lead this offense as WR1 for years to come.