NFL Analyst Compares Julio Jones Situation to Matthew Stafford’s

Published 05/25/2021, 1:20 PM EDT
ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 22: Wide receiver Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons has some laughs on the sidelines in the second half of an NFL preseason game against the Washington Redskins at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)


Julio Jones looks more than likely to leave Atlanta this season. The former Pro-Bowl wide receiver is the biggest asset the Falcons can use to ease their cap constraints at the moment.

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The Falcons need to off-load Jones and are expecting several trade offers soon enough. Given Julio Jones’ talent level, a lot of strong NFL teams will be looking to bring him into their roster this season. But one analyst believes his situation is similar to another star that was recently traded.

NFL analyst Ian Rapoport was a guest on the Rich Eisen Show. He spoke about the current Julio JonesAtlanta Falcons situation. Rapoport compared the current scenario to that of Matthew Stafford in Detroit.

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Stafford played for the Detroit Lions for a long time. During his stint there, he played and gave his 100% every time. And he had some strong showings; however, he often found himself in deep waters as well.

ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 22: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons looks on during the first half of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
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“This seems to me to be somewhat similar to the Matthew Stafford situation. Stafford had played with the Lions, he had given everything he had.

“He had some really good performances, played through injuries, been through some stuff, some highs, and some lows.” 

Julio Jones ready to be on a contending team

Rapoport added that Jones is in a very similar situation in Atlanta. Obviously, he has had more fortunes in Atlanta than Stafford did in Detroit. But the scenario has its parallels.

While Atlanta aren’t preparing for a rebuild, they are looking to make some changes to their roster. Sending Jones out allows them to do that. And it also allows Julio Jones to join a contender as the final piece on a championship team.

“And obviously, Julio probably more highs than Stafford. But it just seems to be if the organization is, they’re not rebuilding in Atlanta. But they’re definitely starting new.

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“And I’m just not sure that he wanted to be a part of something starting new. Again, it feels like he’d rather join a team that is already there and just kind of be the final piece to a championship. That is my sense of it.”

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Where will Julio Jones end up next season? As of now, there is no clear favorite. However, as we move further into the 0ff-season, more targets will emerge and become clear.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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