Julio Jones made it abundantly clear that he was “outta there” in regards to his time in Atlanta. Atlanta also made sure this statement came to fruition, and it is now going to be an official move, as the Tennessee Titans agreed to the trade terms with Atlanta early this afternoon.
According to NFL Networks Ian Rappaport, Atlanta will be receiving the Titans 2022 second-round pick as well as their 2023 fourth-round pick, while Tennessee will receive Julio Jones and Atlanta’s 2023 sixth-round pick. The deal was initially reported by ESPN’s Dianna Russini, who said the trade was expected to be completed within 24-48 hours. Both sides have finalized the compensation part of the deal, which included the trade of the picks as part of the compensation.
Atlanta is going to avoid a huge salary cap hit with the trade taking place after June 1st. Atlanta will now see a hit of $7.75 million and keep $15.3 million in savings, whereas if Julio was traded before June 1st, Atlanta would have seen a $23.25 million hit on the cap, according to sources like OverTheCap.
While Julio did mention he wanted to go to a contender with a big arm quarterback to throw him the deep pass, Ryan Tannehill might not be the “big arm” many were thinking of, but Julio is now joining an offense already featuring the dynamic AJ Brown as well as the rushing king of late, Derrick Henry.
This new wide receiver combo of Jones and Brown will more than likely put the Titans into the “serious contenders” category after they have proven they might be just one piece away from truly competing in the AFC, and I would say Julio Jones counts as that “one last piece”.
Julio is coming off an injury-riddled year in 2020, and many felt his age and injuries would be a red flag for most teams. That is simply not the case, and with the number of teams calling Atlanta in the last few weeks, I would say his stock in the NFL is still as high as ever.
The way I see this, Tennessee just took some pressure off of Derrick Henry as well as far as how much he would run the ball. Now that Tannehill has multiple receiving weapons, Henry will see fewer carries, and that is not a bad thing when I would guess they want to preserve the rushing king for future use.
Tennessee will also now be able to spread out Jones’s salary over the next couple of seasons should they decide to resign him in the future. Tennessee has made the huge splash for one of the best receivers in the last decade, all eyes turn to the Titans now as they have surely made a name for themselves with the pickup of Julio Jones.
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