The Atlanta Falcons are sending future Hall of Famer receiver Julio Jones four hours north to Nashville and the Tennessee Titans.
NFL.com and NFL insider, Ian Rapoport, is reporting that the deal between Tennessee and the Atlanta Falcons will be completed in a few days once Julio Jones has a chance to take and pass his physical. Given both teams want this trade to happen, this is just a formality before the trade is officially completed.
Just a few weeks ago, after Julio appeared on Undisputed and revealed that he was in fact “out” of Atlanta, Rapaport reported that Jones had made the trade request months ago and the franchise was doing their best to respect his wishes.
This is a win for the Atlanta Falcons but not Julio Jones
Sure, Julio Jones has been seen in recent weeks with Titans running back Derrick Henry, and Titans receiver AJ Brown has been publicly lobbying for Julio Jones but make no mistake, this is not a better situation than what he had in Atlanta.
First and foremost, the Titans are not a contender which is what Julio wanted.
The Titans lost quite a few pieces from the 2020 team that went 11-5 and lost to the Ravens in the Wild Card round. The Falcons are just as much of a contender without Julio as the Titans are with him.
Julio also does not get his “strong-arm quarterback”.
It’s laughable to put Ryan Tannehill in the same breath as Matt Ryan, even as Ryan enters his 14th season in the NFL.
Tannehill saw his most successful and best NFL seasons under the guidance of offensive coordinator Arthur Smith in Tennessee and that isn’t debatable. Smith is now the head coach in Atlanta and Titans head coach Mike Vrabel replaced him with Todd Downing, who was the offensive coordinator in Oakland in 2017.
Raiders were among the worst offensive teams in 2017.
Some won’t be happy that the Atlanta Falcons only get a second-round pick for Julio Jones, but given his age and health perception, this was as good as it was going to get the franchise. The standard was set last season when the Texans sent All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals for a second-round pick – the Falcons were not going to top that with Julio.
Sending him to a team like the Titans is a win for the Falcons. They will never have to face Julio in the NFC playoffs, he ends up in a worse situation than what he had in Atlanta and they can finally put an end to the drama and focus on rebuilding around the guys that want to be here – like Matt Ryan, Mike Davis, and Grady Jarrett.