By Ari Meirov
The Falcons have been trying to trade star wide receiver Julio Jones. We’re a day away from June 1st when Julio’s contract becomes easier to trade, so we’re getting close to something finally happening.
A lot of factors go into making a trade happen. Some teams don’t want to give up a valuable draft pick. Others don’t need a receiver. Some won’t want to take on the contract. And there will be a few teams who might believe Julio is on the wrong side of 30.
So who’s interested in making a deal? Lets take a look at all the other 31 teams and start the process of elimination.
Bucs: Atlanta won’t trade with a division rival.
Panthers: Atlanta won’t trade with a division rival.
Saints: Atlanta won’t trade with a division rival.
Patriots: Bill Belichick has been aggressive all offseason long and adding Julio would be the cherry on top. There’s no way you could eliminate New England.
Jets: The Jets added Corey Davis and Elijah Moore this offseason and Julio wants to join a team in “win-now” mode. Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh are building in a strategic way and adding a 32-year old wide receiver isn’t in the cards right now.
Bills: Adding Julio with Stefon Diggs would be scary but Buffalo likely feels good with their group as is (Diggs, Sanders, Beasley, Davis)
Dolphins: Miami is set at the position after adding Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller this offseason.
Jaguars: It’s a new era of Jaguars football but they’re not trading for Julio at this stage.
Texans: This is probably the last place Julio wants to be with right now.
Titans: There might not be a team that makes more sense than Tennessee. AJ Brown and Derrick Henry are actively pushing for the team to make it happen. They lost Corey Davis in the offseason, and Josh Reynolds is currently the No. 2 receiver across from Brown. Adding Julio in that offense would be terrifying and Tennessee could also easily make it work from a cap space standpoint.
Colts: GM Chris Ballard has shown he’ll be pull the trigger if he really wants the player (Buckner, Wentz). I don’t get the sense he’d trade a second-round pick for a 32-year old receiver. That just doesn’t feel like something he would do. But Indy can’t be ruled out. They could use a true top guy. It would make a lot of sense to get Wentz a big-time weapon and put him in the best situation possible. Julio along with Hilton and Michael Pittman is pretty good.
Ravens: Baltimore signed Sammy Watkins and used a first-round pick on Rashod Bateman. But they still don’t have a true No. 1 receiver. Julio would make a lot of sense in Baltimore.
Browns: I had a hard time with this one. GM Andrew Berry has been busy this offseason – mostly on defense – but Cleveland has the cap flexibility to do this. I think they’re set at receiver with OBJ, Landry and Higgins. But it’s worth noting that Beckham only has one year of guaranteed money left, Landry has none, and Higgins will be a free agent next offseason. I still have a hard time seeing them pull this off. I’m going to rule them out.
Bengals: Cincy is stacked at the position after using the No. 5 pick on Ja’Marr Chase.
Steelers: Chase Claypool recently said he would love to have Julio in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers are good at receiver and are in a tight cap situation.
Broncos: They’re getting Courtland Sutton back this season and are loaded at the position.
Chiefs: I’ve seen people floating this around. Twitter would crash if this happens. But I could see it happening. The Chiefs tried to sign JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency and also had interest in Josh Reynolds and TY Hilton. They would most likely have to rework Julio’s contract, but that’s doable. Randy Moss reworked his contract to join Tom Brady and the Patriots in 2007. It was a team-friendly deal and we all know what happened after that.
Raiders: This Raiders regime with Mayock and Gruden once traded for Antonio Brown. It was a failure. There’s no reason not to think they’d swing for the fences again when it comes to trading for a star receiver. Henry Ruggs and John Brown is fine along with Darren Waller at tight end. Adding Julio in would change a lot.
Chargers: The Chargers have done everything this offseason to help Justin Herbert. He’s a star in the making and on a rookie contract. They could do this if they want, so I’m not eliminating them.
Giants: Giants are stacked at the position.
Eagles: Howie Roseman checks in on everything but the Eagles have invested a lot in the position and are in a mini-rebuild.
Washington: Sounds like the plan in Washington is to go with Terry McLaurin, who is an emerging star, and new addition Curtis Samuel as the 1-2.
Cowboys: We already heard what Julio had to say about them. Regardless, they’re loaded at receiver.
Vikings: Have Thielen and Jefferson.
Bears: The Bears actually tried to pair Kenny Golladay with Allen Robinson this offseason. They would have had to juggle things financially to make it work but they tried. I still don’t think they’re in on this.
Lions: Detroit is entering a rebuild and won’t trade for a 32-year old receiver.
Packers: There’s a lot happening in Green Bay. No one know what it would take to make Rodgers happy again, but adding Julio Jones should help, right? Rodgers, Julio and Adams would be super fun to watch. Not much has been reported on this and it remains unclear so lets keep them in for now just to be safe.
Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins wants this to happen but Arizona is stacked at receiver. They already have Hopkins and Christian Kirk. They signed AJ Green and drafted Rondale Moore in the 2nd round. They would welcome Larry Fitzgerald back if he wants. Steve Keim has been aggressive all offseason adding veterans to this roster. But I would still be shocked if they pull the trigger on this one. I can’t see it.
Rams: Les Snead is always hungry to make moves but the Rams are fairly set at receiver. Woods, Kupp, Van Jefferson, DeSean Jackson and TuTu Atwell (2nd round pick) should be enough.
49ers: The 49ers gave up a lot of assets to move up and get Trey Lance, so giving up more assets might not be something they’re interested in. But Julio Jones has familiarity with the Kyle Shanahan offense as he had two of his best seasons when they worked together in 2015 and 2016. The 49ers could make this work from a cap standpoint and Julio would immediately become the top guy in a receiver room with Aiyuk and Samuel. Add George Kittle in as well and Kyle Shanahan has a deadly offense to work with.
Seahawks: ESPN reported on Sunday that the Seahawks have touched base with the Falcons on a potential deal. John Schneider and Pete Carroll aren’t scared to make a deal. And this would definitely make Russell Wilson happy.
Based off the results…10 destinations couldn’t get crossed off:
49ers, Seahawks, Packers, Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs, Colts, Titans, Patriots, Ravens
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