Why the LA Chargers are the most likely landing spot for Julio Jones
Why the LA Chargers are more likely to get Julio Jones than the New England Patriots:
Quite frankly, the New England Patriots are probably the biggest competition for Julio Jones if he is indeed traded. They have enough cap space to bring Jones in with some very small restructurings, even after bringing in all of the players in free agency.
The team has also been bold this entire offseason, which is different from what they have done before. Bill Belichick went on a spending spree and brought in various free agents, so he might not blink twice at paying Julio Jones.
The most compelling reason why the Patriots might not be as insistent as the Chargers to get a deal done is their history of trading draft picks and how close they are to contending. The Patriots very rarely trade away first-round picks, if at all, and that very well might end up being the cost for Jones.
Even if it is a second-round and more mid-round picks the Patriots are not big proponents of trading picks. They traded a second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu, which was awful, but that was because they were in the last year of a Super Bowl window with Tom Brady.
Regardless of if it is with Cam Newton or Mac Jones, the Patriots are likely not going to be contending for a Super Bowl this season and Belichick knows that. Whereas the Chargers have the Super Bowl pillars and could be more desperate as a result.
The Patriots have also experienced plenty of success while the Chargers have experienced none. That could make a team more likely to make a move like this as the team with success is not as desperate to get to that mountaintop at all costs.