(image credit: Derick E. Hingle / USA Today Sports)
Written by: Joseph Yun
After months of trade speculation and one controversial phone call on national television later, the Atlanta Falcons have finally concluded the saga that rivaled some Shakespearean drama in its twists and turns by trading future Hall of Fame wide receiver Julio Jones to Tennessee Titans. Ian Rapaport of NFL Network reports that the Falcons are receiving a deal centered around a second round selection in exchange.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated confirms Rapaport’s original reporting and goes further:
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the trade package will be centered around a second round and fifth round selection:
Rapaport confirms the finalized details of the trade:
The Titans players, namely emerging star wide receiver A.J. Brown openly and some would say, brazenly campaigned for the organization to acquire Jones. Franchise left tackle Taylor Lewan also joined in the fun. Here is AJ’s greatest hit:
Brown’s hilarious reaction when the news broke:
Lewan being cheeky:
What are the financial ramifications of the trade?
As for the financial aspects of the deal, the Falcons pick up $15.3 million in cap space after being perilously close to the cap with just over $300,000 without having signed a single 2021 draft pick prior. Atlanta still has to assume the dead cap charge of $15.5 million in 2022 while the Titans assume Jones’ entire 2021 guaranteed salary of $15.3 million, $11.5 million in 2022 and 2023 in exchange. This is significant as Tennessee had only $3.9 million in space, prior to the acquisition of Jones so they will have to restructure some long term deals (namely, Ryan Tannehill) to get cap compliant.
How does it help the Titans?
Aside from being, well, Julio FREAKING Jones aka the best receiver that your team’s best receiver thinks of, it helps in a ton of ways. Yes, he was injured a lot over the past several seasons, he pushed through the pain and missed only one game in its entirety. He would help free up AJ Brown from facing double coverage after losing key assets like Corey Davis (Jets) and Jonnu Smith (Patriots). It would also free up Derrick Henry, the most terrifying running back in the NFL today, from having to face loaded boxes on a near constant basis. And not to mention, a mentor to the younger generation of receivers the Titans have such as rookie Dez Fitzpatrick and veteran Josh Reynolds from having to face the pressure as WR2 from the jump.
Welcome to Nashville, Mr. Jones!!