For those Patriots fans hoping the team will make a splash trade for a No. 1 wide receiver for Mac Jones this offseason, scratch one name off the list.
New Broncos coach Sean Payton has gone on the record saying the team will not be trading either Courtland Sutton or Jerry Jeudy, adding, “We like the group that we’re working with.” Pats fans have been hopeful the team could pry away Jeudy, a former first-round pick entering his fourth NFL season and a former college teammate of Jones, for the right price. But it seems Denver is holding firm on their desire to keep both talented wideouts… or possibly increase the return value in a trade.
Jones and Jeudy had a solid connection on and off the field at Alabama in the 2019 season when Jones took over for an injured Tua Tagovailoa.
Jeudy, a receiver who many believe is a legit No. 1 in bloom, has posted solid numbers his first three seasons despite playing with a rotating cast of mediocre-at-best QBs. Perhaps under new coach Sean Payton he’ll get the opportunity to blossom into a star, though there is Sutton, also a true outside No. 1 receiver, by his side. Many believed Denver would try to move one to help restock some of the draft capital they spent last offseason to acquire Russel Wilson. Complicating matters potentially now though is their No. 3 receiver, the speedy K.J. Hamler, being out four to six months as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle.
If Jeudy is indeed off the block, then the Patriots would have to look elsewhere to acquire a No. 1 receiver, with Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins still available by trade and Odell Beckham Jr. a free agent looking for a new home. Otherwise they'll have to look toward…GASP…the NFL Draft at the end of April for a possible new wideout to add to their arsenal.
Or maybe they could try again with Denver on draft day, like the Philadelphia Eagles did with A.J. Brown and the Titans? Perhaps the two sides will revisit at a later date; a situation worth keeping an eye on as the draft nears and conversations wrap up at this week’s NFL Owners Meetings.