One of the best wide receivers the game has ever seen will be on the move soon. Julio Jones confirmed that he no longer desires to play in Atlanta. In 10 seasons, he has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards seven times, and he has caught at least 100 passes three times. With the Falcons selecting tight end Kyle Pitts, who is a big target in the mode of Jones, it’s time for both parties to part ways. Jones seeks to go to a contender, so who are the best options for the future HOF?
Jones seems to be the final piece that the Ravens are missing in the passing attack. They have a speedster/deep threat in Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, a great route runner in Rashod Bateman, and solid tight ends in Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle. That being said, they are missing that one true WR to help Lamar Jackson take the next step. With just $9.8M in cap space, as well as an impending extension for quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Ravens would have to restructure contracts to fit Jones’ salary in. The All-Pro receiver would make Jackson’s life easier, as he can high point any ball and come down with any pass thrown his way.
New England Patriots
The Patriots had their most active free agency in recent memory. They may have added Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, but both receivers have combined for seven fewer 1,000-yard seasons than the future HOF. With the defensive secondaries of the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, the Patriots may still need another receiver, and a true number one WR like Jones would surely be a big help. The Patriots are well-positioned against the salary cap, with about $16M in wiggle room. Jones can put them over the top and give Cam Newton a reliable target who goes deep and wins jump ball situations. The move could be similar to the one made for Randy Moss, who recharged himself and destroyed the NFL record books in New England.
With Carson Wentz now chosen as the future of the Colts, the front office must take every step to ensure that he will succeed. What better way to make sure Wentz returns to Pro Bowl level than by having T.Y. Hilton and Julio Jones as your pass-catchers? A great offensive line, a strong running game, and a top 10 defense gives the Colts a plan to be Super Bowl contenders. Indianapolis should be prioritizing contract extensions for Darius Leonard, Quenton Nelson, and Braden Smith, which may take precedence over getting Jones. For now, however, Jones would be better than re-signing Smith to an extension.
Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) is coming back from a season-ending injury, but Cleveland’s offense looked better without him on the field. They’ve got nearly $21M to play with while OBJ is in the last year of his contract. Cleveland’s window to win a championship is open right now, and they have to find a way to get past Kansas City in the AFC. Jones gives them a big body target who can win jump balls. In the bad weather games in the AFC North, Jones, who is a better route runner at this time, may help Cleveland more than OBJ would. Just throw it up to him when the field is in terrible condition and let him come down with it.