The Julio Jones trade rumors are heating up as the Atlanta Falcons look to clear cap space, and it appears the New England Patriots may have a real shot to land the superstar wide receiver.
According to NBC Sports Boston's Michael Holley, Jones wants to team up with Cam Newton in New England.
"You know who he really wants to play with? You won't believe this. I heard this today, I said 'Are you kidding me?' He wants to play with Cam Newton," Holley said, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston's Darren Hartwell. "He likes Cam."
Holley also noted that Jones has concerns about quarterback Matt Ryan, claiming the receiver thinks the 36-year-old has "lost a little zing on his deep ball."
The news comes after former Patriots executive Mike Lombardi said he believes the club "will be in" the mix for the veteran receiver.
It's not necessarily surprising that Jones is interested in playing with Newton. The two have seen a lot of each other over the years. Jones' Alabama Crimson Tide blew a 24-point lead to Newton's Auburn Tigers in 2010. Jones then was drafted sixth overall when Newton went No. 1 in 2011 and the two had plenty of divisional battles when the Patriots quarterback played for the Carolina Panthers.
If Patriots head coach Bill Belichick makes the move, Jones would instantly become New England's top receiver. However, the Patriots won't be the only team exploring a trade for the seven-time Pro Bowler. ESPN lists the San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts and Las Vegas Raiders as other potential landing spots for Jones.