A Julio Jones Trade Will Make These Teams Contenders

Oct 18, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) in action during the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

A Julio Jones trade could take place before the start of the 2021 season. The Atlanta Falcons are looking to trade the All-Pro after ten years with the organization. Jones is 32 years old but still one of the best receivers in the NFL. Teams have been calling about Jones over the last few seasons, and now it�s looking like a trade might finally happen. 

Jones told Shannon Sharpe he’s done in Atlanta. It looks like both sides are looking to execute a trade now. Atlanta is seeking a first-round pick in return for the All-Pro.

Jones also stressed that he wants to play for a team with a real chance of winning and that Dallas isn’t a destination he is seeking.

Executing a Julio Jones trade could take a number of teams from regular playoff contenders to Super Bowl contenders. A lot of these teams are only one piece away, and Jones could be that missing piece.

Let the Recruiting Begin

January 28, 2016; Kahuku, HI, USA; Team Irvin wide receiver Allen Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars (15), wide receiver A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals (18), alumni captain Michael Irvin (center), wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans (10), and wide receiver Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons (11) pose for a photo during the 2016 Pro Bowl practice at Turtle Bay Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the game’s biggest stars are already recruiting Jones to their respective teams. Deandre Hopkins, Jalen Ramsey, and AJ Brown have clarified that they want Jones in their locker room. Hopkins and Jones have reportedly had talks of teaming up together.

Multiple players all around the league are attempting to recruit Jones through social media. Players know that a person like Julio Jones is what their locker room needs.

The Falcons have very little cap space, mainly because of the contracts of Jones and quarterback Matt Ryan. Jones signed a 66 million dollar extension in 2019. Finding a trade for Julio Jones would give Atlanta much more financial flexibility for the future. Jones would also get the opportunity to try and get back to the Super Bowl.

Jones is still one of the top receivers in the game. He was limited to nine games last season with a hamstring issue but was still productive when available. He had 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns. 

A Julio Jones trade could happen before the start of the season. Jones is the type of player that would make any team better overall. With that being said, let�s take a look at some teams that could be in a position to acquire the receiver.

Baltimore Ravens

Dec 2, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) gets wrapped up by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens need a number one receiver. The offense will continue to be one-dimensional if they can�t get a reliable option on the outside. 

The team signed Sammy Watkins and drafted Rashod Bateman but still lacks a true number one option. Jones would bring production and leadership on and off the field.

He was great for the young receivers in Atlanta over the last several seasons. Jones is always trying to help his fellow receivers, whether that�s route concepts, getting your feet down, or beating press coverage from a defensive back. 

Baltimore has an offense built to run the football and utilize tight ends. However, this type of offense struggles when the team is trailing. It�s easy to keep running the ball when you�re ahead in the game. 

Jones would make this receiver group a lot better and would give Lamar Jackson a valid number one option to throw to. Jones sees a good number of double teams, so that will mean a lot more single coverage on other receivers. 

Tennessee Titans

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) and Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) greet each other after the Titans' 24-10 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019 in Atlanta, Ga. 8508847
George Walker IV /, Nashville Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Titans� offense would be dangerous if they can trade for Julio Jones. Cap space is a question mark for Tennessee, so a trade might be challenging. However, finding a way to execute this trade would make them favorites in the AFC South.

The Titans have a dominant offensive line and arguably the best pure running back in the league. The receiver position is a question mark going into this season because they lost Corey Davis in free agency.

Tennessee’s offense will be pretty one-dimensional in 2021 if they can�t find that second receiver. Teams will stack the box to try and stop the run and then have an extra defender on AJ Brown�s side. 

The Titans should try to execute a Julio Jones trade, especially because a division rival might show interest as well.

Indianapolis Colts

Nov 6, 2011; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) catches a touchdown pass against Indianapolis Colts defensive back Kevin Thomas (21) during the first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts have an interesting team and could be one piece away from serious contention in the AFC. The offensive line is solid, and the team has three running backs that could start any given Sunday. However, the receiver position is an area that can improve.

Jones would be a perfect number one receiver and a nice mentor to some of the Colts� young wideouts. Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell are promising young wideouts. However, durability is a question mark.

Having Jones on the team will make this offense to be less one-dimensional. It’s tough to game plan for a team that’s efficient on the ground and through the air.

Indianapolis also brought in Carson Wentz to be their quarterback. The best thing they can do is surround him with as much weapons as they possibly can. There aren’t much offensive weapons that compare to Julio Jones.

Green Bay Packers

Oct 5, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) is tackled after catching a pass during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I guarantee Aaron Rodgers will want to stay if the Packers could execute a Julio Jones trade. The Packers haven�t had a consistent option outside of Davnate Adams over the last several seasons. With that being said, a duo of Jones and Adams would be terrifying for opposing defenses.

Green Bay wouldn’t need to rely on receivers like Allen Lazard or Marquez Valdes-Scantling to be the second option at receiver. They have each had their moments but the consistency hasn’t always been there.

The Packers have been to the NFC Championship the last two seasons but have just come up short in both games. The organization is running out of time, and Aaron Rodgers is running out of patience.

A Julio Jones trade would make them one of the favorites in the NFC and let Rodgers know that they are willing to do everything possible to secure another Lombardi Trophy.

San Francisco 49ers

3 Dec 15, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) runs against San Francisco 49ers free safety Jimmie Ward (20) during the fourth quarter at Levi s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

This would be an ideal fit because Jones would be reunited with head coach Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta for a few seasons and helped the Falcons reach a Super Bowl.

Jones arguably saw his best season in 2015 with Shanahan calling plays. He went off for 136 catches and close to 1,900 receiving yards. Shanahan was also calling plays for a game Jones went for 300 yards.

The entire San Francisco offense would benefit from Jones’ presence on the field. Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel would see a lot of single coverage. They’d also get to pick the brain of an all-time great.

The 49ers were in the Super Bowl just two seasons ago. Last season the team was plagued with injuries. However, a healthy 49ers team with the addition of Julio Jones could have them right back in the mix in 2021.

Los Angeles Chargers

Oct 23, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) is unable to stay in bounds for a catch against San Diego Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward (26) during overtime at the Georgia Dome. The Chargers defeated the Falcons 33-30 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers have a talented offense, but it makes sense why they would want to acquire Jones. Los Angeles plays in the same division as the Kansas City Chiefs, and there�s only one way to beat them. You need to fight fire with fire.�

The Chiefs find ways to exploit the best defenses, so sometimes the best defense is a better offense. You have to go toe-to-toe with them and hope your defense can either get one-stop or your offense has the ball last.

A trio of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Jones would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. Allen dominates in the slot, Williams is one of the best deep threats in the league, and Jones excels at all levels. Justin Herbert would have a lot of options to throw to.�A Julio Jones trade would arguably make Los Angeles one of the most talented offenses in the league.�

New England Patriots

Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) catches a pass against New England Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe (25) in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to reports, Jones and the Patriots have mutual interests. Jones is rumored to want to team up with quarterback Cam Newton. In addition, The Patriots also want to improve their offense after finishing towards the bottom in almost every significant offensive category.

The Patriots had a busy and productive off-season. New England signed Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, and Nelson Agholor in free agency. The Patriots missed the playoffs last season and are trying to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Jones and Newton have a lot of history together. Both players were drafted in the first-round in 2011 and battled it out in the same division for most of their careers.

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