Julio Jones has been an elite wide receiver in the NFL ever since he was drafted in 2011. There was once a time when teams would give up the kitchen sink to acquire him in a trade.
Now, at age 32, the Atlanta Falcons have placed Julio Jones on the trade block.
Over the past few years Jones has shown some signs of wear and tear, but teams are still calling the Falcons to discuss fair trade compensation. Jones has 12,896 career receiving yards through 135 games, the most for a player in NFL history over that span. Jones also has the highest average receiving yards per game in NFL history, at 95.5, and averaged more than 100 yards per game in five different seasons, the most in league history. Should the Philadelphia Eagles take a risk and trade for Julio Jones?
The wide receiver position for the Eagles has been suspect at best for the past few seasons. They spent a 1st round pick in 2020 on Jalen Reagor and a 1st round pick on Devonta Smith in 2021. Would the Eagles use another 1st round pick and trade for Julio Jones? It’s possible. Julio Jones would give the Eagles a clear cut WR1 and one of the best receiving corps in the NFC East. He would demand opposing teams’ CB1. He’d also be a great mentor to the younger wide receivers and help Jalen Hurts progression as a QB.
On the other hand though, Julio is 32 years old, and is coming off some injury-plagued seasons. The Falcons asking price is rumored to be a 1st round pick. The Eagles do have two firsts next year, with the possibility of a third, but is it really smart for them to invest that much capital in a player whose best days are probably behind him?
Jones has three years left on his deal, and a fully guaranteed base salary of $15.3 million for 2021. He is scheduled to cost $23.05 million against the cap this year and $19.263 million in 2022 and 2023. That’s a lot of money for a player over 30.
Julio Jones has had a prestigious career, and remains one of the best wideouts in the NFL. But with such a high cap hit and cost to acquire him, I believe it’s not in the Eagles’ best interest to trade for him.