Patriots Trade Proposal Swaps Multiple Draft Picks for $19M WR

Justin Jefferson

Getty The New England Patriots would get an All-Pro WR for multiple draft picks in this trade scenario.

The New England Patriots have a lot of intriguing options at wide receiver, but no elite game-changer capable of scaring the life out of NFL defenses. Enter Justin Jefferson, a three-time Pro Bowler who’s still being talked about as somebody the Minnesota Vikings could trade.

It would take a healthy trade package to tempt the NFC North franchise to part ways with the 2022 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Even though the Vikings were open to dealing Jefferson before the 2024 NFL draft, according to Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, instead of paying him a potentially record contract to avoid free agency in 2025.

One trade proposal that could work is outlined by Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine. He has the Pats sending a “2025 first-round pick, 2025 third-round pick, 2026 second-round pick, 2026 fourth-round pick” to Minnesota.

As Ballentine put it, “a bounty of four draft picks for one player including two first-round picks might just be enough to consider swapping an All-Pro talent who is going to command as much money as Jefferson.”

Striking a deal for a wideout set to count for $19,743,000 against the salary cap this year, per, wouldn’t be a daunting prospect for the Patriots. Not when “their roster is at a point where no one is close to the top of the market at their position right now. They would love to have the problem of signing a receiver to a contract that pays them over $30 million a year.”

The Patriots also have a league-leading $44,415,791 worth of space under the cap. It’s enough to get rookie quarterback Drake Maye a true go-to receiver, arguably the best in football.

Justin Jefferson Worth 4-Draft Pick Trade Haul

Mortgaging so many prime picks would be quite the risk for the rebuilding Patriots. Yet, a prolific partnership between All-Pro Jefferson and No. 3 pick Maye could get this team back to winning ways sooner than expected.

A Maye and Jefferson connection would transform what’s been a stale offense. There’d be no more of the small ball common during Bill Belichick’s final years as head coach.

Not with Jefferson and his 15 yards per reception career average in the offense. The 24-year-old has topped 1,000 yards in every one of his four seasons in the pros.

Although 2023 was statistically a down year, Jefferson was still dominant at times. Like when he toyed with the Philadelphia Eagles en route to 159 yards in Week 2, per Pro Football Focus.

The Patriots simply don’t have a receiver capable of producing gaudy numbers as often as Jefferson. Nor do they have a roving pass-catcher who can shred defenses in as many ways.

Jefferson gave the Patriots and New York Giants prime examples of his versatility during the 2022 campaign. His performances were highlighted by Darius Butler and Greg Cosell for NFL Matchup on ESPN.

They detailed how Jefferson’s straight-line speed and nuanced route running exploit both zone and man coverage.

The Patriots haven’t had a wide receiver this physically gifted since Randy Moss. Without Jefferson, Maye’s strong arm will have to adapt to a fleet of underneath receivers.

Patriots Still Lack Vertical Threat

There’s no shortage of after-catch specialists on New England’s wide receiver depth chart. They include holdovers like Kendrick Bourne and DeMario Douglas. Add in a rookie who can play a niche role like San Francisco 49ers’ All-Pro Deebo Samuel for new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt.

These are complementary receivers, but what’s missing is a marquee No. 1 playmaker. Somebody capable of stretching the field week to week.

Perhaps Jefferson’s former Vikings teammate K.J. Osborn can add the speed needed. Yet, even if he does, Osborn won’t be the game-changing move target Maye needs to quickly live up to the billing as a franchise quarterback.

Packaging a Maye and Jefferson partnership with young receivers and a stingy defense would quickly make the Patriots relevant again.

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