Julio is ‘Outta There’ but To Where?

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

Contrary to popular Twitter belief, Julio Jones is still one of the best receivers in football. Last year, Julio racked up the lowest receiving yards of his entire career (771 yards), but he only played 9 games. Had Julio not gotten injured he was on pace for at least 1200 yards. NFL fans are very short sited when it comes to the production of players and are very quick to assume that a player is ‘washed’. Julio Jones is far from done and wherever he goes, he will be the number 1 receiving option and would improve 31 teams. The only question regarding Julio is health. Can he keep healthy for 16 games and a playoff run? If the answer to that is yes, he will surely end next season a top 5 receiver in every statistical category.

Julio Jones has made it clear he wants out of Atlanta. So why has he not been traded yet? Well, for starters the Falcons are asking for a little much. No one is likely going to give up a future 1st round pick for a 32-year-old wide receiver who is coming off his worst year due to injury. Atlanta will surely have to lower their price and when they do, teams will be on the phone constantly trying to bring Julio to them. 

Likely teams, that make sense?

Tennessee Titans:

The Titans and their players have been very public in their pursuit of Julio. I don’t blame them one bit. A team that has made the playoffs 2 straight years and got to the AFC Championship in 2019. Julio could be the final piece they are missing to get over the hump. An elite receiver to play opposite AJ Brown would really open up the run game for Henry and the Tennessee offense. That prospect alone is enough to convince the Titans front office to make a move for Jones. However, would Jones be content joining an extremely run-heavy team? 

Baltimore Ravens:

It seems as though every time a receiver becomes available, the Ravens are one of the teams linked with them, and rightly so. How do you expect to get the best out of Lamar if you aren’t surrounding him with the requisite weapons? Julio would be, by far, the best weapon Lamar has ever had. Just look at the leap that Josh Allen made when they gave him that level of play at the receiver position. Acquiring Julio would absolutely open up the playbook for Baltimore and could be the one piece missing. The Ravens had a top 3 defense last year as well as the number 1 rushing offense in the league 2 years in a row now. The only thing missing is a competent pass game and Julio would give them that and much more. 

San Francisco 49ers:

What better way to welcome the future of your franchise and rookie QB than to bring in a future Hall-of-Famer as his primary receiver? The 49ers are 1 year removed from being a quarter away from being world champions. Last year they were tormented by injuries but everyone will be back this year. That being said they have no genuine out and out receiver 1. They have George Kittle, one of the 2 best tight ends in the league, they have Deebo Samuel who is one of the most electric guys with the ball in his hands but they are missing a solid number 1. Kyle Shanahan is the most creative play-caller in the game, you give him Julio to play with? Good luck stopping that offense. 

Let’s Have Some Fun!

Now imagine the Packers decided to try and persuade Aaron Rodgers to stay by trading for Julio Jones. Reckon the prospect of having Adams and Julio could convince him to stay? Surely that makes them favorites to win the whole thing? I think if Green Bay can pull it off, Rodgers would put his ego to one side and stay. It would be too good of an opportunity to pass up. There would be no better situation in football for him. A solid offensive line, the best wide receiver duo maybe ever, a good run game, and competent defense. Of all the scenarios we have discussed this is the most mouth-watering prospect. 

I think we are all in agreement when I say, anywhere that Julio ends up, will be a contender. For the first time in his career, he would have a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. He would want to show he has a lot left in the tank and prove to all the doubters and the Falcons that they were silly to count him out. Expect to see Julio Jones in a playoff game deep into January next year, regardless of where he plays.