The Las Vegas Raiders and Atlanta Falcons are going to be two intriguing teams to keep an eye on with the NFL trade deadline coming up. Reports have been coming out that the Falcons could look to trade Julio Jones and Matt Ryan in a roster teardown after another disappointing start to the season.
Jones has been one of the NFL’s biggest stars throughout his entire career. Moving on from him would be a tough move for the Falcons, but one that might be necessary.
CBS Sports has suggested a potential trade that would send Jones to the Raiders. In the trade, they have Jones heading to Las Vegas in exchange for a 2021 first-round pick and a 2022 fourth-round pick.
Here is a brief explanation for why the Raiders and Falcons should consider working on a Julio Jones trade.
Jones is a clear step above them all, in that he’s everything Mayock and Jon Gruden wanted in AB — a bona fide, nearly un-coverable play-maker — minus the off-field antics. What Derek Carr has right now is working, but now that Las Vegas is very much alive in the AFC West race, the time is now to pounce. Manipulating the cap would be well worth his killer size and instincts.
During the first four games that he has played this season with the Falcons, Jones has caught 23 passes for 350 yards and two touchdowns. He has had some injury issues that have held him back, but he has still been dominant when on the field.
At 31 years old, Jones is still under contract for three more years after the 2020 season. He would be a long-term option for the Raiders and could take them a huge step towards winning a Super Bowl.
Let’s take a closer look at why this trade would make sense for both teams involved.
Why This Trade Makes Sense For The Raiders
Quite simply, the Raiders are only a piece or two away from competing for a Super Bowl. They have built the right way and have had two statement wins already this season coming against the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs.
Jon Gruden and company have found ways to field a dynamic offense even without a ton of talented weapons. Adding Julio Jones to the mix would change everything.
Imagine a two-headed monster at wide receiver of Jones and Henry Ruggs III. Jones may not be as fast as he once was, but the speed of the two wideouts would be nearly impossible for defenses to stop. Derek Carr would have more fun than he has had throughout his entire career.
While giving up a first-round pick is always a tough decision, it would be a no-brainer if Jones was coming back in return.
The Raiders may not end up having a chance to acquire Jones and there is no guarantee that the Falcons will move him. But, this trade would be an ideal move for Las Vegas moving forward if they could get it done.
Why This Trade Makes Sense For The Falcons
Fans in Atlanta would hate to see Julio Jones go, but that time is coming. The time is running out for them to get back into contention with their current group of players. With Dan Quinn already being fired, the Falcons need to go all-in on making changes.
Jones is simply not going to get the Falcons back into contention anymore. Atlanta also has Calvin Ridley, who is turning into a star himself. Keeping Ridley and adding picks by trading Jones would make a ton of sense.
Gone are the days of the Falcons’ offense being one of the scariest in the NFL. Things have not gone well for them over the last couple of years. Moving on from Jones and giving him a chance to compete elsewhere would be the right move for both the franchise and player.
If the Raiders are willing to offer their first-round pick in 2021, the Falcons would potentially have a chance to draft Trevor Lawrence with their pick and then find another talented young piece with the Las Vegas pick.
Things are going to change in Atlanta, it is just a matter of time. They might as well take a look at shaking things up at the trade deadline.