Jaguars trading for WR Julio Jones doesn’t make sense

Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars are in the early stages of what seems like a lengthy rebuild. They have spent the offseason revamping their roster. Even though the team’s brass has made some mistakes along the way, they have also gotten many things right. Following the 2021 NFL Draft, their offense looks in good shape. However, wide receiver Julio Jones doesn’t want to play with the Atlanta Falcons anymore and may be available via trade. Would it make sense for the Jags to acquire the All-Pro?

There have been reports about Jones being traded all offseason long, and it looks like it’s just a matter of time before the Falcons move their star wide receiver. Not long ago, the 2010 first-round selection told Shannon Sharpe of Undisputed that he wanted out of Atlanta. If you watched the video, Jones wasn’t probably aware that he was live on TV. It’s unlikely that the wide receiver will backpedal.

The Falcons are in need of cap space and Jones is set to count $23.1 million against the cap in 2021. If Atlanta traded the wide receiver before June 1, they would incur a cap hit of $23.25 million. If they deal him after that June 1, the cap hit this year would be $7.75 million. Nevertheless, they would have $15.3 million in dead money in 2022.

Bill Barnwell of ESPN sees Jacksonville as one of two potential landing spots for Jones (the other is the New England Patriots). He says that the Jaguars have enough cap space to make a deal happen. Also, Jones would give quarterback Trevor Lawrence a true number-one receiver. Barnwell suggests the Falcons trade Jones to the Jags and receive Laviska Shenault Jr. in exchange. He believes it’s a win-win situation for both teams. Since ‘Viska’ was drafted by the previous regime, he may not be part of the team’s long-term plans.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are better off sitting this one out.

Even though Jones missed time with injuries last year, he can still help most NFL teams. However, this Jacksonville team doesn’t need him for several reasons. First, they just started a rebuild, and they are more than just one player away from contending. Just because the Jaguars have the cap space to pull a trade doesn’t mean that they should.

The Jags already have a well-rounded wide receiver corps. DJ Chark Jr. is arguably a top 15 receiver and the team signed Marvin Jones Jr. this offseason. Shenault showed promise in his rookie campaign and Collin Johnson has the potential to have a breakout season in 2021. As great as Jones is, Jacksonville is set at wide receiver.

Regarding Barnwell’s suggested deal, it doesn’t make sense for the Jaguars to trade Shenault for Jones. It’s true that the current regime didn’t draft the 2020 second-round pick. Nevertheless, if they wanted to trade him — there are no signs they plan to do it — they should trade him for a tight end or another position of need.

Wide receiver is already a position of strength for the Jaguars, so trading for Jones might not be in the team’s best interest. There’s already a plan in place and they must stick to it.

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