There’s been a lot of noise this offseason surrounding a team that doesn’t even have a GM yet. Reports have surfaced that Julio Jones has been discussed in trades. I don’t buy it; how is a team without a GM discussing anything at all? If they are, that’s a problem because they’re hamstringing potential GM candidates. That isn’t Rich McKay’s decision to make; let the future GM and coach decide on that. Regardless, I don’t think moving Julio Jones (for now) is a good idea. In fact, I think it’s a horrible idea.
His value has never been lower
The strange “Julio is injured a lot” narrative runs rampant, but he did limp through the end of the 2020 season. This is the first time Julio will finish under 1,394 yards in six years. Anyone who has ever played around with the stock market knows you buy low & sell high. I don’t understand trading the best player in franchise history when he would fetch the lowest return of his career.
You lose money by trading him before June 1st
If you want anything in return for Julio before the 2021 NFL Draft, you’d be eating $200,000 in 2021 for him to play somewhere else. While those savings jump to over $15 million Post-June 1st, what does that money matter then? In addition, the picks would be for the 2022 draft. This next draft class could be like the 2013 class — it’s just way too short-sighted. I’d rather play the season with Julio.
He would make the transition to a new coaching staff easier
Certain guys in the NFL are just all-around fantastic people — Julio is one of them. He’s the face of this franchise, and if you’re bringing in a guy like Joe Brady or Eric Bieniemy, the learning curve is a lot easier when you have an alien out there snagging anything thrown his way.
You would crush the fanbase
Some fans are naturally nihilistic about the team and the situation the Falcons are in, but Julio is undoubtedly my favorite player in franchise history. He has numerous breathtaking moments from mossing Luke Kuechly to one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history. I would be sad even if we got two first-rounders in return — you never want to lose the face of your franchise. He may have to go one day but now is not the time in a confusing and uncertain changing of the guard.
You cannot replace him
I don’t really see Atlanta drafting a receiver early on in this deep of a class, but they wouldn’t be Julio Jones even if they did. Calvin Ridley is a fantastic player who finally broke out, but he isn’t Julio Jones. Nobody is Julio Jones. There isn’t a wide receiver in the NFL that possesses the gifts that he does physically. There’s a reason he’s an all-time great. There’s nobody else like him. Every reason above is valid, but this one is indisputable.
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