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Report: Patriots discuss Julio Jones trade internally

Carmen Mandato / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The New England Patriots have had internal discussions about trading for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, reports Mike Giardi of NFL Network.

It's unclear how serious the discussions have been, Giardi adds.

Jones is reportedly available for trade as the Falcons look to create financial flexibility in 2021 and beyond. Atlanta has $410,000 of cap space but would gain an additional $15.3 million of room by trading Jones after June 1.

Hamstring injuries hampered Jones throughout 2020 and limited him to nine appearances, but the 32-year-old still managed 51 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdowns. The seven-time Pro Bowler has been one of the NFL's most productive pass-catchers over his career, leading the league in receiving yardage in 2015 and 2018.

The Patriots lack a proven playmaker out wide despite revamping their receiving core over the offseason. Barring another move, New England will go into training camp with Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne penciled into starting spots at wide receiver, with Jakobi Meyers and N'Keal Harry slotting in behind them.

New England took an unusually aggressive approach in upgrading its roster after going 7-9 in 2020. Bill Belichick and Co. spent an NFL record $159.6 million in guaranteed money on free agents, landing the likes of Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Matt Judon, Jalen Mills, Agholor, and Bourne.

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