As is the case nearly every offseason, the New England Patriots are in need of some wide receiver help. They were able to improve that position a bit this time around, acquiring former Miami Dolphins wideout DeVante Parker for a third-round pick. But it’s evident that the offense still needs some serious firepower if they hope to contend in the AFC.
One receiver the Patriots probably have on their radar is former All-Pro Julio Jones.
The Pats have a history of bringing in aging veterans to complement their receiving corps. Eric Decker, Torry Holt, and Reggie Wayne have all spent time in New England at one point or another late in their careers. Oddly enough, none of them actually made it out of training camp with the team, but that shouldn’t give New England any hesitation when looking at Jones.
Jones, 33, is coming off two injury plagued seasons. In 2020, his final year with Atlanta, Jones started nine games and accumulated 51 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdowns, his first season since 2013 where he didn’t eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. Upon joining the Tennessee Titans last year, Jones’ production plummeted. In 10 starts, Jones totaled 31 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown.
After such an illustrious run in the 2010’s with Atlanta, it’s fair to assume Jones just isn’t the same player he once was. While New England could use a serious No. 1 receiver in their offense, adding two above average receivers this offseason would be an absolute win for New England.
As it stands right now, New England’s receiving corps isn’t all that bad. Along with Parker, both Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor have been productive receivers throughout their respective careers. Meyers is coming off a breakout season in which he totaled over 80 receptions and 800 receiving yards. Agholor had a bit of a down year in 2021, but he’s averaged 647.2 receiving yards and 5.2 touchdowns per year since 2017.
New England doesn’t need prime Julio Jones — although that would obviously be ideal. They just need another reliable veteran to complement the rest of their up-and-coming receiving corps. Even at 33 years old, Jones can certainly still provide that for any offense he’s placed in.
Jones won’t demand a high price tag either, which makes pursuing him all the more enticing. The Pats will need all the offensive help they can get in 2021. Competing with the Buffalo Bills high octane offense, along with the newly assembled offensive powerhouse that is the Miami Dolphins, adding Jones would go a long way in bringing the Patriots offensive attack to the same level.