Should the LA Rams trade for Julio Jones?

Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

NFL speculation has been flying high over the likelihood of the Atlanta Falcons trading wide receiver Julio Jones. The narrative is shifting rapidly, and hopes, imagination, and even individual fantasies are being teased. Although I too may have let my imagination run wild when I first heard that the LA Rams were linked in rumors about trading for disgruntled Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Julio Jones, the team should be very careful while considering it.

Although I absolutely admire the 7x Pro Bowler’s skill, the LA Rams are already stacked at the WR position. Both veterans Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are extraordinary players, and they are both projected to have monster numbers this season catching passes from Matthew Stafford. These players, along with Desean Jackson, Van Jefferson, and our first selection of the 2021 NFL Draft, rookie receiver Tutu Atwell, headline our receiving corp and make Julio almost redundant.

Management has done a great job building a contender, but by doing so, our cap situation is tight. Trading for Julio Jones, the second-highest paid WR in the league annually ($22 million per year) behind only wide receiver Deandre Hopkins, would complicate things even further. Although the organization could once again tinker with some contracts and theoretically make it work, Julio’s salary is a trade-in itself. By absorbing such a monstrous contract, and because there are three years left on said contract, the Rams could lose cap flexibility for the next three years.

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

This summer, even without Julio’s contract on the books, the Rams weren’t able to keep defensive back Troy Hill or defensive back John Johnson with an extension. In fact, the team was prompted to trade away defensive lineman Michael Brockers to get under the salary cap. These players aren’t stars, but they were proven starters that the team has to replace with younger, unproven players. Considering how top-heavy the roster is already, trading for Julio could be going past win-now mode and into murky waters where unproven players get called up and can’t deliver championship-level football just yet.

It is rumored that the Falcons have been offered a first-round pick for Julio. Although this report is probably missing pivotal details, like the Falcons probably having to send a later pick of their own along with Julio in order to obtain the first, I do think it will take the Rams giving back a 2nd round pick plus a later pick, let’s say a fourth-rounder to have any chance of outbidding other offers that the Falcons have been offered to move him. For an organization that doesn’t have any first-round picks for the next two years, this would dig deep into our precious draft capital.

Julio’s trade market value, plus his salary, and not to mention his age (32), would make this a risky move for the Rams. The most recent reports now are indicating that the Rams have moved out of the bidding war for the services for Julio Jones for the time being.  Of course, if the Rams are simply regrouping, they could be back in the market.  That may sound over the top, but crazier things have happened.

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I don’t think breaking the bank for him is in the best interest of the team. If a player of significant talent and need becomes available, let’s go for it, otherwise, let’s hope Jones goes anywhere besides our division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks or San Francisco 49ers, and stay out of the bidding.