No, the Atlanta Falcons should not trade legendary receiver, Julio Jones. The Falcons are in a position to win this year, and with Julio on the roster, the dirty birds have arguably the best passing offense in the NFL. So, what’s with all the rumors? Why have people been talking about a trade this week?
Well, teams like the Tennessee Titans have reached out, and Atlanta has listened to what they and other franchises had to say. The main appeal to trading Julio would be to free up cap room. Since the Falcons having very little salary cap left, this is probably very appealing to the front office in Atlanta.
When trade talks surround a Player of Julio’s caliber, rumors will fly. Players like Deandre Hopkins and AJ Brown have tried to recruit Julio to their respective teams via social media posts. Hopkins announced he would be willing to restructure his contract to get “Jet” Jones to Arizona. This has caused a media frenzy. It seems everyone on Twitter is coming up with hypothetical trade scenarios that would land Julio on their team.
The Atlanta Falcons are currently sitting with $410,000 in salary cap space after signing this year’s rookie class. They are basically broke. Anyone they sign at this point would have to be on the practice squad. Trading Julio would provide the Atlanta Football Club with $23,050,000 this year. Still having pain points of pass-rushing and secondary after the draft, I can see why people and teams are talking about this potential trade.
The main reason Atlanta should not be tempted by this year’s salary cap situation: the salary cap goes up next year by $20M. Also, if you look at Julio’s contract, his salary decreases by $4M next year. If the Falcons wait til next year, they will have more room in cap space than if they were to trade Julio right now and sign someone else.
The Falcons’ receiving corps is composed of Julio Jones (WR1), Calvin Ridley (WR2), Russell Gage (WR3), Hayden Hurst (TE1), and Kyle Pitts (TE2). On paper, this is the best receiving corps in the league. With an elite QB like Matt Ryan throwing the ball, it’s going to be hard to stop this Falcons passing game.
Taking Julio out of the equation would make Calvin Ridley WR1. I think Ridley could handle it, but why weaken your offense to satisfy a salary cap scenario that will fix itself next year?
If the Falcons want to compete for a title this year, keeping Julio Jones will be critical. He has been a Falcon his entire career and has a great relationship with the organization and Matt Ryan. I highly doubt he wants to leave.
This is noise, not news.