One of the hottest names on the market in the NFL right now is that of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. Jones and Atlanta are rumored to be headed for a breakup as Jones no longer fits the timeline of the team and the Falcons have some cap space concerns that would be alleviated by dumping Jones’ contract.
Of course, one of the teams that a lot of people have connected Jones to is the Kansas City Chiefs. While there haven’t been any solid reports that Jones or the Chiefs are interested in each other, (yet) it is reasonable to think Brett Veach and the team will at least make a call or an effort to land Jones.
Many will underestimate the Chiefs’ determination to add a player like Jones as they’ve already made a big move this offseason in acquiring Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown but even Brett Veach has always said you aren’t really trying if you make excuses to not acquire a player of Jones’ caliber. Don’t say it won’t happen because we can’t know for sure.
Now, one of the main concerns about acquiring Jones is that he would take a lot of assets that the Chiefs can’t really afford to give up. However, Jones is in his thirties, coming off an injured season, and has a big contract. So, the Falcons likely won’t even get a first round pick in return for Jones. Jones will still warrant some value because of his talent but he’s not what you would call a spring chicken at this point in his career.
Despite that, though, Jones really only had one bad season as far as missing games. He only played 9 games in 2020 but was still productive as he had over 700 yards and 3 TD’s in those 9 games. Sure, Jones has still popped up on the injury report a lot over the past several years but he has still played and been productive on the field. Plus, Kansas City would present an ideal situation where the load on Jones wouldn’t be that big with Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill , and the running game with a revamped offensive line.
The really big hookup in making a deal for Jones would be the contract. Jones will have a cap hit of $15.3 million in 2021 and will also have cap hits of $11.5 million in 2022 and 2023. The Chiefs would have to do some maneuvering to fit Jones’ contract such as extending Tyrann Mathieu, but they could certainly make it work if they really wanted to. They could also sweeten the pot in a trade package so the Falcons would still be willing to take on some of his contract.
In the end, trading for Jones would be an all-in move that would take some sacrificing of future assets which is why the Chiefs probably won’t do it, but it would almost guarantee a Super Bowl as well assuming everyone stays healthy. Adding Jones to this already stacked Chiefs offense would make it arguably the greatest offense ever assembled on paper. Jones still has elite size, speed, and catching ability and defenses would seriously have no idea who to cover when playing the Chiefs.