Julio Jones trades rumors: here’s how much it could cost the Falcons to treat a wide receiver
The Falcons may be looking to move on from longtime No.1 wide receiver Julio Jones.
According to Athletic’s Jeff Schultz, the Falcons “would like to trade” the veteran receiver this offseason. As Schultz pointed out, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, but if Atlanta is in fact looking to move Jones, some will have an interest in acquiring Jones.
Jones had a year of decline in 2020, recording 51 catches, 771 yards and three touchdowns while playing just nine games with a lingering hamstring injury. But in his previous six seasons, he had recorded at least 1,394 receiving yards and led the league in receiving yards on two occasions.
And over his ten-year career, the former 6th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft averaged 95.5 yards per game, the most players in NFL history.
Jones is surely a good player, but just how willing would a team be to give up for the 32-year-old? To answer this question, it’s important to look back at Stefon Diggs, DeAndre Hopkins, and Odell Beckham Jr.’s trades over the past few years to see what Jones might be worth in the trading market.
How much would a Julio Jones trade cost?
Comparing the receivers below to Jones, there is one thing that clearly stands out and will have a big impact on any potential trade: Jones is significantly older than Diggs, Hopkins or Beckham at the time they were dealt.
The three recent No. 1 receivers that were traded were all 27 years of age or younger. Jones is 32 years old, so any team trying to acquire him should be set to win now. It wouldn’t be a long term acquisition for any club. As such, it can take its value down a bit, especially when you add Jones’s hamstring injury from last year and his career history with nagging lower body issues.
A similar deal in the framework to that of Hopkins would likely be what Jones would be looking for in the market. This is why a trade like the one offered by PFF below would be wise.
If Atlanta is determined to land a first-round pick, they could try trading Jones for a first-round pick directly. Or, they could acquire a first while ditching Jones and an end-of-day 3 pick. Either way, they’d have options that would likely center around a first-round pick or two picks from Day 2.
Odell Beckham Jr.’s Business Details
- WR Odell Beckham Jr.
- BY Olivier Vernon
- AND Kevin Zeitler
- S Jabrill Peppers
- 2019 first round pick
- 2019 third round pick
Just before free agency in 2019, the Browns struck a successful contract with the Giants to acquire Beckham Jr. At the time, Beckham, 26, was coming off a season where he had recorded 77 catches, 1,052 yards on receiving and six touchdowns in 12 games. for the giants. And for five seasons, he averaged 106 catches, 1,485 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns per 16 games played.
To acquire Beckham, the Browns had to surrender a bit. Peppers was one of their first round picks in 2017, while Zeitler started 32 straight games for them and played at a high level. But Beckham was a borderline All-Pro and the Browns needed a real No.1 receiver to team up with Jarvis Landry, who has been very friends with Beckham since their time together at LSU.
As such, the deal made sense and getting Vernon as a throw-in was nice value for Cleveland.
Jones had similar output to Beckham in his first five seasons, and both also struggled with minor injuries early in their careers. So the agreement is relevant from this point of view.
Business Details DeAndre Hopkins
- WR DeAndre Hopkins
- Fourth round pick in 2020
- RB David Johnson
- Second round pick in 2020
- Fourth-round pick in 2021
Hopkins’ trade may be the worst in NFL history and that’s a big part of why Bill O’Brien will hardly ever be given control of an NFL roster.
What O’Brien got in exchange for Hopkins, one of the NFL’s top receivers, was pitiful. At the time of the trade, Hopkins, 27, had formed three consecutive All-Pro first teams. He had missed just two of 112 career games and averaged 90.3 catches, 1,228.9 receiving yards and 7.7 touchdowns per year in Houston.
Hopkins is dynamic, fast, has contested holds and was Deshaun Watson’s favorite target. What did the Texans bring him? A running back who totaled 691 rushing yards and six touchdowns for them in 2020, a second-round pick they spent on defensive tackle Ross Blacklock and a fourth-round pick trade. Relatively speaking, these are peanuts – or at the very least, a big cut.
The Falcons may have to make a similarly priced offer if they trade Jones due to his age and contract status. That said, they should still have a chance of landing a better package than what the Texans got in return from Hopkins. If they can’t get it, it might not be worth trading it.
Stefon Diggs Business Details
- WR Stefon Diggs
- 2020 seventh round pick
The Vikings acquire:
- First round pick in 2020
- Fifth round pick in 2020
- Sixth round pick in 2020
- Seventh round pick in 2021
The Bills wanted a true # 1 receiver for their offense and were willing to pay the hefty price needed to acquire Diggs. At first it looked a lot like paying for the former Vikings player, but at the time of the deal he was 26 and coming out of consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards.
At Buffalo, Diggs became a true top receiver and posted his career best scores in catches (127) and receiving yards (1,535). He led the league in both categories for the 2020 season.
Meanwhile, the Vikings took the risk of not getting any proven player back for Diggs, but they hit the jackpot with Buffalo’s first-round pick (22nd overall). They picked LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson who more than replaced Diggs in their offense. Jefferson racked up 1,400 receiving yards as a rookie and would have won the offensive rookie of the year award if it weren’t for a stellar effort from Justin Herbert.
If the Falcons are looking for a package based on the Capital Project, that would be the best case scenario for them. They probably wouldn’t get as many choices as Bills, but if they could add an influx of draft talent, it would at least give Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot more resources to guide Atlanta on a mini-rebuild.
Which teams could trade for Julio Jones?
Because Jones is expected to hit a cap of $ 23 million in 2021, according to Spotrac.com, it won’t necessarily be easy for teams to trade for him directly. However, NFL teams are moving money to create space all the time for talented players, and there is no doubt that teams would do the same if they felt Jones could help them become contenders. at the Super Bowl.
In no particular order, here are some of the teams that might consider targeting Jones via trade.
Patriots. Bill Belichick and the Patriots have been very aggressive in adding to their offense this offseason. They signed Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne in free agency but still need a real No.1 receiver. Jones would do the trick.
Ravens. The Ravens signed Sammy Watkins and drafted Rashod Bateman in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but they still may not have a No.1 receiver. Jones could fill that role until Bateman is ready. to become the best player. Baltimore also likes the guys from Alabama, so this seems like a good game.
Colts. The Colts still have over $ 20 million in ceiling space and could afford to add a third receiving weapon to complement TY Hilton and Michael Pittman Jr.
Chiefs. Imagine if the Chiefs matched Jones with Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman. Patrick Mahomes would have a field day throwing bombs at them on the ground. The Chiefs may not be willing to pay Jones’ salary, but if they are, it could be a match made in heaven.
Raiders. The Raiders wanted to add speed to their receiving body when they selected Henry Ruggs III in the 2020 NFL Draft. His rookie year has been lackluster. Maybe adding a guy like Jones to replace Agholor and mentor Ruggs, another Alabama product, would be a good move.
Washington. Washington added Curtis Samuel to join Terry McLaurin in the receiving room this offseason. Adding Jones could give them an elite three-man unit. And you better believe Ron Rivera knows Jones well after watching him face the Panthers twice a year for the first nine seasons of Jones’ career.
Packers. Pairing Jones with Davante Adams could be a nice olive branch to extend to Aaron Rodgers … especially if 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love is included in the trade package for the Falcons.
49ers. Kyle Shanahan coached Jones during his time in Atlanta. Reuniting the duo and having a paired Jones team with George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk would give the Trey Lance / Jimmy Garoppolo duo a lot of talent to work with.