Julio Jones commerce grades: Titans get prime mark for including seven-time Professional Bowler, Falcons look to future

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Julio Jones, lower than two weeks after declaring his need to depart Atlanta, has discovered a brand new workforce because the Titans acquired him by way of commerce with the Falcons. The seven-time Professional Bowl receiver will be part of a Titans workforce that’s seeking to take the following step following consecutive playoff appearances. And whereas the Falcons needed to say goodbye to one of many franchise’s all-time greats, they did obtain a good quantity of commerce capital. All instructed, the Falcons received the Titans’ 2022 second-round choose and a 2023 fourth-round choose, whereas the Titans acquired Jones together with the Falcons’ 2023 sixth-round choose. 

Here is how we graded every workforce for the commerce that has created a number of buzz on what in any other case would have been a sleepy Sunday within the NFL‘s offseason. 

Titans: A 

Tennessee would have scored an A+ had it had been in a position to purchase Jones for only a second-round choose. Nonetheless, the Titans obtain an A for giving up a second and a fourth, whereas getting again a sixth-rounder. Whereas the Titans had bargaining energy (contemplating that Jones had publicly acknowledged that he not desires to play for the Falcons), the truth that the Seattle Seahawks and presumably a number of different groups had been in play to land Jones seemingly pressured Tennessee to sweeten the deal. By doing so, the Titans prevented dragging out negotiations or presumably dropping Jones altogether. 

The Titans wanted a big-play receiver to exchange the offseason lack of Corey Davis. Certain, Josh Reynolds was a really good offseason addition, however Jones actually fortifies Tennessee’s passing assault. Jones, whereas nonetheless one of many league’s greatest gamers, is 32 and coming off of an damage that restricted him to 9 video games in 2020. Whereas the Titans absolutely need him to return to the shape that made him a perennial Professional Bowler, he will not be requested to hold the burden of being the Titans’ unquestioned No. 1 receiver. Jones will as an alternative be requested to enhance the skills of third-year receiver A.J. Brown, who’s coming off of a 106-catch, 11 landing 2020 marketing campaign. 

The addition of Jones ought to additional assist open issues up for Derrick Henry, the reigning two-time NFL dashing champion. The commerce could not make the Titans the front-runner to come back out of the AFC, however it definitely has given them a fair higher shot at their second consecutive AFC South division title (William Hill Sportsbook lists each the Titans and Colts at +110 to seize the division). The transfer additionally helps them bridge the hole between themselves and the Chiefs, who’ve represented the AFC within the Tremendous Bowl the final two seasons. 

Falcons: B

As nice as Jones has been, his age and up to date damage historical past seemingly made it nearly not possible to fetch a first-round choose. Perhaps, had Atlanta shopped Jones previous to April’s draft, there would have been a workforce (Seattle?) keen to commerce a first-round choose so as to purchase the 2010s NFL All-Decade Workforce performer. However Jones’ latest public feedback, together with the truth that the coaching camps open subsequent month, significantly diminished the Falcons’ bargaining energy. 

Given their present predicament, the Falcons lowered their expectations and received the Titans’ 2022 second-round choose and a 2023 fourth-round choose. Whereas it is doable the Falcons might have tried to squeeze a future third-round pick of the Titans, they had been apparently content material with the picks they acquired and the sixth-rounder they gave up.

Whereas Jones’ departure clearly leaves a gap within the Falcons’ offense, the workforce nonetheless has receivers Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage, tight finish Hayden Hurst and rookie Kyle Pitts, the highest-drafted tight finish in NFL historical past. The Falcons can be clever to revisit the open market to assist change Jones; two choices embody former Dolphins receiver Isaiah Ford and veteran Golden Tate. No matter who else they bring about in, Matt Ryan must discover himself a brand new major goal now that Jones has left city. 

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