This is an article I was hoping I would never have to write. I can’t even begin to explain how distraught I am over the news that Julio Jones has requested a trade, and the way that it transpired is even more hurtful. For now, if Jones is dealt, there are already a few favorites in Vegas.
I have no idea what the bottom three teams on that list are doing there, but I think everyone else (and the Chargers) are all realistic destinations. Picks will be necessary to make a deal happen, but I’ll be focusing more on any players the Falcons could receive in return as opposed to picks. I also won’t be considering 2021 draft picks or any salary cap implications, teams like the Chargers have more space than teams like the Titans, but there are always work-arounds. This pains me to do, but let’s get into it.
9. San Francisco 49ers
Potential Trade Pieces: CB Dontae Johnson, S Jimmie Ward
Not only do the 49ers lack a lot of position players that would be a good fit salary-wise in Atlanta, they don’t have a lot of players I think they would be willing to part with. With a lot of their picks traded to Miami, they’re just not at the top of my list.
8. Dallas Cowboys
Potential Trade Pieces: RB Tony Pollard, S Donovan Wilson
I could see Julio wanting to be back with old pal Dan Quinn in Dallas, but like the 49ers, they just don’t have a lot of enticing pieces outside of Donovan Wilson, who was great in 2020. Dallas does have more in terms of draft picks, so it’s a possibility.
7. Arizona Cardinals
Potential Trade Pieces: LB Isaiah Simmons, CB Byron Murphy, S Budda Baker
I don’t think Arizona would want to part with any of these guys, but the Falcons would do well to get Byron Murphy. He was pretty stellar in coverage in 2020, and is only 23. Budda Baker is more of an enforcer and not too great of a scheme fit. Regardless, I don’t see Arizona dealing him or Simmons in a Jones deal.
6. Las Vegas Raiders
Potential Trade Pieces: WR Henry Ruggs III, EDGE Clelin Ferrell, CB Damon Arnette
I think Henry Ruggs was grossly misused last year, and he would give Arthur Smith another AJ Brown type receiver. Clelin Ferrell was pretty good in 2020, but fellow first round pick Damon Arnette was not. These guys are pretty expensive, so they don’t make too much sense in terms of savings. I would, however, take picks from the Raiders.
5. Baltimore Ravens
Potential Trade Pieces: RB Gus Edwards, EDGE Jaylon Ferguson, S DeShon Elliott
The Ravens have a few interesting pieces; I don’t think they’d want to part with Ferguson, though. DeShon Elliott could be a plug-and-play starter at safety, so I could be talked into a package of him and picks.
4. New England Patriots
Potential Trade Pieces: RB Damien Harris, EDGE Chase Winovich, CB J.C. Jackson, CB Stephon Gilmore, CB Jonathan Jones
Jonathan Jones would be my main target here, potentially alongside Damien Harris. The Patriots would be a tough team to make the money work with, but they do have options at positions of need.
3. Los Angeles Chargers
Potential Trade Pieces: HB Justin Jackson, EDGE Uchenna Nwosu, IDL Justin Jones, S Nasir Adderly
I could stomach any of these guys, especially Uchenna Nwosu, who would instantly improve Atlanta’s pass rush. Nasir Adderly hasn’t played well thus far, mainly due to injuries, but he’s a versatile guy that could make an impact immediately.
2. Tennessee Titans
Potential Trade Pieces: IOL Nate Davis, IOL Ben Jones, IDL Jeffery Simmons, EDGE Harold Landry, CB Kristian Fulton, S Kevin Byard
The Titans make a lot of sense as a trade partner; Arthur Smith and Dean Pees have familiarity with a lot of these guys. Kevin Byard may be off the table, but Nate Davis or Harold Landry would be fantastic additions for the Falcons along with picks.
1. Washington Football Team
Potential Trade Pieces: IOL Chase Roullier, IOL Brandon Scherff, IDL Jonathan Allen, IDL Da’Ron Payne, EDGE Montez Sweat, S Jeremy Reaves, S Kamren Curl
I liked Washington as a trade partner in the draft, and they still make sense now. Roullier just signed a fat contract, but Scherff is playing on the franchise tag. Either would start immediately on Atlanta’s offensive line. Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, and Montez Sweat would instantly improve Atlanta’s front seven. Jeremy Reaves and Kamren Curl both played very well as young safeties, so I could have interest in either of them as well. Washington has picks, so a combination of a day two pick in 2022 + Montez Sweat could be about the best you could do if you’re Atlanta.
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