Free agent wide receiver Jacoby Jones could be just what the New England Patriots need to open up what was a stagnant offense at times this season. The Patriots need receivers and for once seem to be open to the idea of bringing in someone in their prime who can be the difference between watching the Super Bowl this year and playing in it next season.
Jones, a straight ahead speedster, is exactly the kind of receiver the Patriots need. They have plenty of the underneath, shifty types, but they don’t have someone who can blow the top off the defense.
All too often this season teams had no need to respect the long ball, so they sat on the shallow routes and kept receivers like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola from breaking long runs after the catch. Jones is the kind of receiver that will keep a safety over the top, opening up room for the slot receivers to operate.
Jones seemed on the verge of a breakout year this season after busting out in the playoffs a year ago when the Baltimore Ravens took the NFL title. But mostly due to injuries, he was never able to live up the hype this season and finished with only 37 receptions and two touchdowns.
That may work in New England’s favor, because his value will be diminished in the open market and they could steal him away from Baltimore for a value price this spring. Throw in his versatility and playmaking ability on special teams, and Jones could be just the game-breaking player the Patriots were lacking this season.
The Patriots have plenty of questions this offseason, but their biggest need is at outside receiver. They could try to draft a young player, but they went that route last year to mixed results at best. At some point you have to take a chance, and bringing Jones in could be just what they need.