Patriots Tabbed Among Favorites to Trade for Projected $118 Million Star

It is a grim disappointment to find the Patriots unable to bring home their top offensive target of the offseason, a guy who would have slid easily into their biggest area of need: star wide receiver Calvin Ridley. The Patriots made a hard play for Ridley and were considered the favorites to pry him from Jacksonville, at least until the Titans swooped in and landed him on a four-year, $92 million contract.

While it is likely the Patriots will simply absorb the Ridley blow and move their attention the NFL draft, the prospect remains that the team could make a trade for a top-line receiver. Cincinnati’s Tee Higgins or the 49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk would be premium choices—better by far than Ridley.

But if there is a cream of the crop, it is Vikings star Justin Jefferson, arguably the best receiver in the NFL.

It is a longshot, but according to the betting odds, the Patriots have nearly as good a chance as anyone to make a move on Jefferson. According to, it’s a plus-7,000 bet, which equates to about a 1.4% chance, but that ranks the Patriots No. 4 on the list of potential destinations for a Jefferson trade.

Justin Jefferson Looking for More Than $30 Million per Year?

The top team is Cincinnati, where Jefferson would reunite with his LSU teammate, quarterback Joe Burrow. The Cardinals and Giants are also in the betting mix, though at 2.0%, they’re both just a hair ahead of New England.

The reason the odds are so low is because the feeling remains that Jefferson will stay with the Vikings. It would be a public-relations disaster, of course, if the team let him walk after already having lost quarterback Kirk Cousins.

But Jefferson, apparently, plans to make the Vikings pay. Adam Schefter of ESPN said on Wednesday that Jefferson had already turned down an extension that would have brought him in line with the top-paid receiver in the league, Tyreek Hill, who earns $30 million per year. Spotrac projects Jefferson’s market value at $117.6 million over four years, which is likely low.

During Super Bowl week in Las Vegas last month, Jefferson was not shy about what he was looking for in a new contract. That is imposing for the Vikings. It could be imposing for the Patriots, too, though the team has cap space still available.

“I want to break the bank and I want to be a part of an organization that wants me and to really give me what I deserve. I feel like eventually the Vikings will do what they need to do to have me in the building, but I don’t really know at this very moment. Only time will tell,” Jefferson said per

Patriots Badly in Need of WR Help

No question the Patriots need a new top-line wide receiver. The question is whether the Pats can get one through a trade, and whether a player of Jefferson’s caliber would want to come to New England, where career backup Jacoby Brissett is currently the top quarterback.

Jefferson has been a 1,000-yard receiver in all four of his seasons, including last year when he played just 10 games because of injury. For his career, he has averaged 98.3 yards receiving per game.

As it stands, recently re-signed Kendrick Bourne is probably their best wide receiver, but he is a No. 2/3 on a decent team. They have two more years of JuJu Schuster-Smith (they can wriggle out of his contract in 2025), who likely is playing on one knee.

Rookie sixth-round pick Demario Douglas was promising last year, and figures to have a more prominent role. But he is a 5-foot-8 slot guy.

Jefferson would change all that. If he wanted to, at least.

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