At the end of the day, Julio Jones apparently was too expensive for the New England Patriots.
The Atlanta Falcons on Sunday traded Jones to the Titans for a package headlined by a second-round draft pick. Tennessee will pay all of Jones’s $15.3 million salary in 2021, barring a contract restructuring.
The Patriots once were viewed as a potential landing spot for Jones, and the 32-year-old reportedly was interested in playing in New England. But that narrative started to change over the last week, and now the Jones-to-Patriots dream officially is dead.
So, what happened? Why did New England ultimately pass on a deal for the 32-year-old future Hall of Famer?
The Athletic’s Jeff Howe offered some insight Sunday on Twitter.
“I believe the Patriots had some initial interest in Julio Jones very early in the process, but the price point was going to have to change, either with trade compensation or the Falcons eating money. It didn’t, and they moved on.”
Chris Gasper of WCVB-TV added to it noting much of the same.
The question, of course, is should the Patriots have gone all-in on acquiring Jones?
Proponents of a trade likely would point to Jones’s otherworldly ability and track record. Opponents of a deal surely would have concerns over Jones’s age, injury issues and apparent decline last season.
In any event, Jones now is in Tennessee and a wild period of trade speculation has reached a merciful end. We’ll now have to wait and see whether New England has any additional deals up its sleeves.