Ah yes, we’ve hit that time of year where one of my favorite time honored traditions in New England comes back around. We’ve seen it with Megatron, Fitz, Antonio Brown (unfortunately that came true), Josh Gordon and everyone in between. There is quite literally no escaping it if you’re a talented NFL receiver. It’s tbe “Patriots Should Sign ________” Sweepstakes!
And guess what ladies and gentlemen, we have another contestant! Julio Jones COME ON DOWN! (He does look good in a Pats uni though, doesn’t he?)
It initially got “leaked” that Jones wanted out. That fake leak then prompted the Falcons to adamantly claim they had “no interest” in trading Julio which is a dead giveaway that they do indeed intend on trading Julio. That was eventually accompanied by everyone from the coach to the quarterback saying they “can’t imagine this offense without him” and all that fun posturing type stuff. Again, the second you hear teammates or coaches saying things like that where they “can’t imagine this team without Player X” or they “have no intention of trading Player X”, that’s when you know there have been talks about trading said player. It’s happened with Jimmy G, Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson and that’s just in this offseason. And now it’s happening with Julio.
Now the curtain has essentially been completely pulled back on this entire situation with reports coming out that Julio asked for a trade back in March and it was at THAT TIME that Atlanta started to feel out what teams were willing to offer. And while the Falcons are reportedly seeking a first round pick (HA!) for the 32-year old receiver, word on the NFL streets is that they’d likely accept a second for him. ***Insert Belichick walking out of the tunnel GIF***
Aaaaand then we got arguably the most shocking thing to happen on a live sports talk show in recent memory this week with Shannon Sharpe CALLING JULIO JONES WHILE THE SHOW WAS ON AIR TO ASK HIM ABOUT THIS ENTIRE THING!
Wild. Absolutely wild. Easily the most entertaining thing to happen in the history of Undisputed…considering all Skip and Shannon do is dissolve every “debate” they have down to one of 3 topics: Lebron/MJ, Tom Brady or this preposterous year long bet involving cases of Diet Mountain Dew. Whether you think Julio knew he was on air or not is irrelevant. Julio knows what Sharpe does for a living so if he put two and two together that he’s getting a call while Shannon woud be filming his show, I think he knew what was up. And after Shannon told him it was live, his tone didn’t change at all as he again threw an amazing ricochet shot by saying he has ZERO interest in playing for the Cowboys since he wants to go somewhere and win. Look, it’s not like Julio was tricked into saying some huge secret on television. We all knew he wanted out of Atlanta. It’s not some groundbreaking confirmation. But still, to hear a current NFL player actually say as much on live television was must-see TV.
Now that you’re caught up on the case of Julio Jones vs The Falcons, how do the Patriots fit in you ask? Well, initially they were being brought up solely because they are the Patriots and have the NFL world by the balls at every turn. It’s a simple equation: Big Name WR + potential availability = Patriots as the landing spot. Only difference is…this time there’s actually some validity to the claims.
Evidence #1: Jones Likes Newton – Julio wants to play with Cam. (Which is interesting because I was repeatedly told that NFL players would not want to come play with Cam in New England. Hmmm)
Evidence #2: May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor – Now, I never really get into what the odds are on anything sports related because I believe companies that put those out still have a business to run and every odd they give is meant to work in THEIR favor somehow. But still, it’s something. Betting odds are in the Patriots favor here.
Evidence #3: The Team Actually Wants The Player – This is important because with Megatron, Fitzgerald, etc, the “smoke” from the team’s side never actually seemed to come from THE TEAM itself. It was always fan manufactured or just reporters saying things like “it would make sense for the Patriots to kick the tires on Receiver X” and everyone running with it. But there was never really any report that Belichick actually made any call. This time it’s different.
Evidence #4: 2021 Has Been Wacky In New England – This offseason has been the most non-Belichickean offseason we’ve ever seen up in these parts and it’s not even close. Of course there’s reasoning behind it in the form of insane cap space/maneuverability that other teams don’t have and glaring needs at various positions, but still, non-Belichickean to say the least. So if Don Bill wants to keep going down this path, the next logical stop would be at Julio Jones’ doorstep with an offer he just can’t refuse.
Evidence #5: Money. Money. Money – Julio’s cap hit was initially seen as a deterrent to many when this entire saga started, but due to the brilliant mind behind PatsCap on Twitter (go give him a follow if you haven’t already. The guy is so insanely accurate and knowledgeable that he must be a descendant from the person who actually created the NFL salary cap) the cap hit doesn’t seem like too much of an issue.
Under $6 mil for one of the way receivers in the league? I’ll pay for his flight here. First class too! Assuming the team can do some fancy financial footwork. And what team has been Hall of Fame worthy at doing that? The Pats.
So what does this all mean? Who the hell knows. Especially since now we have fans claiming they have scoops..
I guess this guys “source” was also right about Josh Gordon getting reinstated sooo…you’re saying there’s a chance!
Listen, Bill Belichick is the Master of the Mystic Arts and a true magician never reveals his secrets. He very well could already have the structure of a deal in place with the Falcons…or he may have kicked the tires and got told to F off by the team he emasculated on live TV for all the world to see and made the entire franchise a punchline. Go up to a Falcons fan and say “28-3” and you’ll see what I mean.
While there genuinely seems like there’s interest from both sides, the only issue is going to be the Falcons themselves. Julio Jones doesn’t have a no trade clause so Atlanta has the choice to send him wherever they please. It would take Arthur Blank putting his pride aside and agreeing to do business with Kraft after the “28-3” engraved Super Bowl ring situation. Then it’d be up to the Patriots to outbid everyone else which, surprisingly, they’ve done more often than not this offseason.
Don’t expect a legit report one way or another until after June 1st though. The Falcons would cost themselves MILLIONS if they trade Julio before that date so it looks like everyone is going to have to sit on their hands until then. But if Julio Jones ends up on the New England Patriots…we’re going to have to seriously start talking about a Super Bowl run. LFG.