NFL HOFer Gives His Take on the Julio Jones Trade Situation in Atlanta

Published 05/06/2021, 7:13 PM EDT


After a dismal 2020 NFL campaign, NFC South franchise Atlanta Falcons underwent some major changes this summer. The Falcons brought in Arthur Smith to take over from Dan Quinn in 2021. The former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator will be expected to make an immediate impact this season.

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The Falcons owned the 4th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. There were rumors that they might look to draft a quarterback in order to replace an aging Matt Ryan. However, GM Terry Fontenot opted to select highly-rated TE Kyle Pitts instead.

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The Florida Gators superstar became the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history. Now along with Pitts, Ryan, Calvin Ridley, and others, the Falcons boast a strong offense. But what does that mean for the immediate future of veteran wide receiver Julio Jones?

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What must the Atlanta Falcons do with WR Julio Jones?

Prior to this year’s draft event, there were reports that Julio Jones could be on his way out of Atlanta. The 32-year old has spent 10 years of his NFL career with the Falcons and is easily one of the top wideouts from the last decade.

But former Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens tight end-turned-analyst Shannon Sharpe believes Jones could be on the move this summer.

“Now if I want to get rid of him out or try to make a move, you’re gonna give me a defensive player of equal value to Julio Jones. So if you can get a defensive player, get the equal value of Julio…A value of Julio Jones, you’re talking about a Khalil Mack. You’re talking about, like a Jalen Ramsey, a guy like that, or a Devin White. Teams are not letting go of those guys.”

“So for me, I wouldn’t trade Julio because I think now you just get into a situation like Matt Ryan, I need you to be MVP Matt Ryan. I know what Kevin really had almost 1400 yards. He got Kyle Pitts, Julio,” Sharpe said on the show.

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Since making his debut in 2011, Jones has 12,800+ receiving yards and 60+ receiving touchdowns during his stay with the Falcons. He made the Pro Bowl team on 7 occasions and was the NFL Receiving Yards Leaders twice (2015, 2018).

However, Jones had a down year in 2020. He had just 51 catches for 771 yards in 9 games played. It was his first season since 2013 where Jones didn’t cross the 1,394 receiving yards mark.

The Falcons may decide to cash in on their prized asset as they look to keep up with the competitive teams in the NFC. But where do you think Jones might land on a potential trade deal in 2021?

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Daniel Arambur

1594 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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