The veteran Patriots beat writer offered the New England perspective in a piece designed to pitch the Falcons the best trade package for Jones. Reiss rolled out an offer that would have New England sending a second-round pick and QB Jarrett Stidham to the Falcons for Jones.
It would be a surprise if the Falcons were blown away by this offer.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jamison Henley (Baltimore Ravens), Nick Wagoner (San Francisco 49ers) and Turron Davenport (Tennessee Titans) did their best for their teams. Quite honestly, Reiss’ offer was only better than the one from the Titans. Davenport concocted a package that featured a third-round pick and linebacker Rashaan Evans.
The Falcons would be foolish not to jump at the potential offer from the Ravens (2022 second-rounder, 2022 fifth-rounder and remaining on the hook for $4 million of Jones’ $15.3 million deal in 2021) or the 49ers (a 2022 second-rounder and a 2023 fourth-rounder).
The Ravens’ deal still puts some financial responsibility on Atlanta to pay a portion of Jones’ salary. Considering the trade would be a cost-cutting deal, the Falcons may not want to pay any of the wide receiver’s salary.
What’s Wrong With the Potential Patriots’ Offer?
A second-round pick seems to be the right start to any offer. There are reports (per ESPN’s Dianna Russini) surfacing that suggest the Falcons have received an offer that includes a future first-round pick, but many still believe Atlanta will have to settle for a package that is powered by a second-round selection.
The problem with the Patriots’ potential offer is the inclusion of Stidham.
There is nothing that would indicate the Falcons should value Stidham over a fourth or third-rounder. This makes the Reiss’ offer non-competitive.
Stidham wasn’t even the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart during the first day of OTAs with the Patriots on Thursday.
He failed to get a start in 2020, and has struggled with interceptions during every step of his two-year NFL career. The 24-year-old has completed 50% of his passes, thrown four interceptions and just two touchdowns in spot duty during the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Is his career trash? It’s too early to tell, but it’s not too soon to say that including him in a trade for a guy like Jones isn’t going to move the needle.
If Belichick is Serious About Acquiring Jones, He Needs to Be Aggressive
Overpaying for just about any player is like the cardinal sin in the NFL when it comes to personnel decisions. That concept is a bit overblown.
If the Patriots have a chance to add an elite wide receiver like Jones, especially considering they may already have a Super-Bowl-caliber defense, Belichick shouldn’t allow the inclusion of a second draft pick to scare him away.
Belichick needs to maintain the aggression he’s shown throughout this offseason, and make a more serious play for Jones than Reiss’ potential offer. If it takes a second and third-rounder, or even a first and fourth-round pick to acquire the piece that could help you get back to the Super Bowl, it’s a deal that should be made.
Could the Patriots be giving up a pick that leads to a special talent? Of course, that’s the risk whenever a team deals a draft pick.
However, if trading for Jones leads to ring No. 7, no one will care if the move cost the Patriots’ a first-rounder that turns into a future Hall-of-Famer.
- Patriots Releases ‘Super Back’ and Sign Former Wisconsin Star
- Embattled Patriots WR’s ‘Scholarship Has Run Out’, Says NFL Insider
- Patriots Urged to Use Star as a ‘Trade Chip’ for Julio Jones
- Julio Jones ‘Eyeing’ 2 Teams in Potential Trade
- Falcons Name Price for Patriots Trade Target Julio Jones: Report