On Friday, May 21st, a new report surfaced that the Atlanta Falcons were actively searching for teams interested in trading for Julio Jones.
It wasn’t until late Monday night that Adam Schefter reported that Jones had requested a trade from the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons front office decided that it was best to keep this information confidential until after the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jones, who has spent his entire nine-year career with Atlanta, has been the face of the franchise since entering the league. Unfortunately, the front office has done a poor job of managing their cap space and thus has made Falcons fans’ worst nightmare a reality. The Falcons need to clear cap space if they want to sign their entire 2021 draft class, which includes No. 4 overall pick Kyle Pitts.
Some believe that the Falcons were planning on moving Julio Jones due to his slight decrease in production and nagging hamstring/foot injuries over the past few years, but that doesn’t seem to be true.
This move is entirely cap-oriented.
The Falcons could have opted to take Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields at No. 4 overall which would have allowed the franchise to trade away Matt Ryan and keep Julio Jones. However, that didn’t happen and owner Arthur Smith is now committed to Matt Ryan for at least another year or two.
It was a surprise most at this point in time if Julio Jones was not traded to another team by say the end of June. The team is currently asking for at least a future first-round pick.
Jones also said on “Undisputed” that he wants to go to a team that will appreciate him and can win. If I’m a team that is one piece away from contending for a world championship then giving up a future first-round pick for Julio Jones does not seem all that bad. The only knock on him is that he is 34 years old, has a larger contract, and has been labeled as injury-prone by most over the past few years.
Here are four teams that could not only use a star receiver like Julio Jones but possibly win a Super Bowl with him on their roster.
4 NFL Teams Who Have A Possibility of Trading For Julio Jones
Green Bay Packers
The Packers need to find a way to keep Aaron Rodgers with the organization and what better way to do that than to sign JULIO FREAKING JONES. Trading for Julio Jones and pairing him alongside Davante Adams would create the most lethal wide receiver duo in the entire league. Taking the double coverage off of Adams will open up this already explosive Packers passing attack.
How could they pull off trading for Julio Jones?
Well, it is actually a lot easier than many may believe.
To start off, the Packers would have to be willing to part with a second, third, and fifth-round pick. Even though the Falcons are asking for a first, the odds of them receiving that are very slim. Then, they would have to sell the Falcons on stashing Jordan Love for the future. It is no secret that Matt Ryan is past his prime and the Falcons elected to take Florida tight end, Kyle Pitts, instead of Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Some might forget but Jordan Love was a former first-round pick. Trading Love would display the front office’s confidence in Aaron Rodgers for years to come.
New England Patriots
The Patriots’ receivers combined for four touchdown receptions in 2020. That ranked dead last in the league and Bill Belichick has done very little to seriously improve it during the offseason. Yes, the Patriots signed Nelson Agholor, Hunter Henry, and Jonnu Smith. They will contribute in some capacity to this offense there is no doubt about that, however many within the organization believe that Kendrick Bourne is the No. 1 receiver on the team.
Do you see an issue with that?
The Patriots are getting left in the dust in a division that is only improving. If New England wishes to do anything in 2021 (maybe make the playoffs) they will need to make a splash in free agency. Trading for Julio Jones could be that splash.
The franchise still has enough cap space to take Julio Jones onto the team and could restructure his deal depending on how he performs this season.
Never count the Patriots out in any scenario like this that involves a big-time player.
The Colts need to be thinking about this move for one reason and one reason only: Carson Wentz. The Colts traded for Wentz because they believe in his talent and ability to lead this team to a Super Bowl. They already have the best offensive line in the league and a young bell-cow running back in Jonathan Taylor. What the Colts could use is a veteran threat on the outside.
That is where Julio Jones comes into play.
Julio Jones says he wants to go to a team that is ready to win and will appreciate him.
Indianapolis is just that.
The franchise has been headed in a positive direction ever since.
According to Adam Schefter, the Titans believed the Falcons were asking for “way too much” for star receiver Julio Jones. Yet, they are still one of the few teams who have been reported to be hounding Atlanta for the veteran.
The June 1st deadline has come and gone and we will finally find out how the league values Julio Jones and just how much teams are willing to pay for him.
A move most likely won’t be made right away, so the teams that are trading for Julio Jones will be in the news for a while.
The Titans have just enough cap space for Jones, and just imagine him alongside a young A.J Brown. With Derrick Henry in the backfield and Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, Mike Vrabel may have himself a Super Bowl-caliber team. The defense still has some issues that need to be addressed but that’s beside the point.
Even more importantly, the tricks and advice that Julio Jones can teach a future star like A.J Brown are invaluable.
We have already seen him be willing to do that with current teammate Calvin Ridley.
It makes too much sense for the Tennessee Titans to not make a generous offer for Julio Jones.
They are a match made in heaven.
Main Image: Embed from Getty Images