LA Rams: Why No Julio Jones trade was the right choice

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News NFL Rumors Julio Jones Les Snead
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Mo’ money

One of the challenges facing any team that was willing to trade for Julio Jones is what do you do with him contractually once you get him? Here’s the problem: From the moment Julio Jones is traded, his contract no longer offers any assurances.  His signing bonus and salary guarantees primarily is a burden that the Falcons had borne alone.  Once traded, he is paid his 2021 base salary (guaranteed) and then he can be released at will.

That’s not a position that NFL veterans want to face. They can be cut at will, perhaps after an injury, perhaps after one or two bad games, and be forced to sign up with a new team, move once more, learn a new system, meet new coaches, yada yada yada. So the challenge is that once Jones arrives, he will be focused on reestablishing a beachhead of guaranteed money. For the LA Rams, they’ve pretty much found themselves tapped out.

The entire LA Rams receivers compensation package for 2021 is $21.7 million per Over The So adding a $15.3 million additional salary on top of what the LA Rams are already committed to spending is not an ideal situation for the Rams either.  So the player and his agent want more guarantees and the team wants to have fewer financial obligations.

Unlike other trade scenarios where the Rams played a very effective white knight riding in for the rescue, in this situation the trade would create an even worse financial setting for Julio Jones and the Rams. Would the two sides have been able to work something out? Perhaps, but the Rams clearly did not perceive the likelihood of a win-win this time around.

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In the end, the LA Rams surprisingly passed up on the chance to add a disgruntled veteran receiver who some still believe can be a game-changer. As for me?  I was on record for being a No Julio as soon as the rumors began. In the end, the LA Rams agreed and passed up on the chance to add Julio Jones to this offense. Will the Rams regret the decision? I don’t think so. They seem to know what they are doing, and they have earned the right to be trusted.