Rumors have really heated up over the past few days regarding a potential Julio Jones trade. Some seem more legitimate than others at this point.
We have gotten to the point where it seems as if publications are simply writing and publishing Julio rumors just to generate views and draw attention themselves. That is not to say that Julio will not eventually be traded but there is simply no way that all of these rumors are based on reality.
If the Atlanta Falcons do trade Julio Jones, they are hoping to recoup more than the Texans did when they sent Deandre Hopkins to Arizona for a large barbeque platter and a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts.
While general manager Terry Fontenot is hopeful, it may not play out that way.
Before we jump into trade packages for Julio, let’s assess what a team would be getting by making a trade with the Atlanta Falcons.
- Contract remaining: three years, $61 million, average cap hit of $20.3 million
- A nagging hamstring injury limited him to nine games in 2020
- Recorded 51 Receptions, 771 Yards, three touchdowns
- Turned 32-years old in February
- Cardinals Receive: WR Julio Jones, 2022 5th Round Pick
- Falcons Receive: 2022 ARI 2nd Round Pick, 2022 ARI 3rd Round Pick
It’s unclear what the current market is for Julio Jones.
The Cardinals would be strapped for by executing this trade and could push Arizona out the mix but pairing up Jones with DeAndre Hopkins would be a terror on opponents.
Kliff Kingsbury was brought into the NFL despite being fired from his low-level Power 5 job to deliver a staggering offense to Arizona and so far it’s worked out and appears to be progressing quite well.
Adding Jones would allow Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella to strictly remain in the slot while it could propel Kyler Murray to the elite tier of quarterbacks.
Why does it make sense for Atlanta?
The second and third-round picks in any draft are very valuable selections, it would allow Atlanta to add impressive talent to continue to build the future foundation of this franchise and would likely lock in three top 60 selections for next April’s cycle.
Atlanta also doesn’t have much cap space which makes it hard to build via free agency and trade like this would make too much sense for the future to pass up.
- Eagles Receive: WR Julio Jones, 2022 3rd Round Pick
- Falcons Receive: PHI 2022 2nd Round Pick, DE Josh Sweat
The Eagles would be the likeliest to make a deal for the former Crimson Tide standout. The Eagles drafted DeVonta Smith which was an A+ selection but they still tremendously lack talent at WR and trading for Julio would instantly give them a prolific duo.
The Eagles defensive line is a bit crowded but Brandon Graham, despite being 33 is still giving them good numbers meaning Josh Sweat’s push into the starting lineup will be delayed and will likely lead to his departure as he’s in the final year of his deal.
Sweat made good plays a year ago in what was his best season thus far and the Falcons desperately need help with its pass rushers and making this deal could secure the future off the edge and an early draft selection.
- Colts Receive: WR Julio Jones
- Falcons Receive: 2023 INDY 1st Round Pick, 2022 4th Round Selection
The Colts are in win-now mode and trading for Carson Wentz even furthermore supports that claim.
Indy has a really good supporting cast on offense and defense to back it up with future pieces in place on both sides so surrendering another first-round selection really wouldn’t be that detrimental to the Colts.
The Falcons would add a second first-rounder for the 2023 draft while another fourth for 2022 which could be an impactful pick for the Falcons.
This would make all the sense in the world for the Colts but I’m not sure exactly how many selections they would want to squander away meaning a 2022 third-rounder could be in play if they inquire with GM Terry Fontenot.
After all, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to deal your first three or four picks in a draft as the Saints and Rams over the years have attacked the off-season with only a few picks to their names.
Indy can afford to do the same.