On June sixth Julio Jones was traded from the Atlanta Falcons to the Tennessee Titans. Just like all trades, there were winners and losers from it. Let’s take a look at who gained from the trade and who lost.
- Julio Jones: Jones goes from a team that has not made the playoffs since 2017 to a team that is a Super Bowl contender. Jones may already be a Hall of Famer, however, the one thing he does not have is a Super Bowl ring. Now with the Titans, he has a great chance to get his first ring. It also helps that he has Derrick Henry and AJ Brown to take pressure off of him in the offense.
- Tennessee Titans: Tennessee lost both Corey Davis and Adam Humphries during the offseason. Now with Jones on the team, the Titans have someone that can line up next to AJ Brown. Getting Jones also means that the Titans do not have to rely too much on running back Derrick Henry to carry the offense. Tennessee has never won a Super Bowl in its existence. However, with Jones, they have a great chance to achieve one this year.
- Calvin Ridley: Ridley was a first-round pick in 2018. He has been the number two receiver in Atlanta’s offense since he came into the league. Now with Jones gone, he gets an opportunity to show that he can be a number one receiver in the NFL. Ridley had 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns last year, as Jones was limited to seven games. Being the number one now means that he will draw more coverage from defenses. If Ridley can step up and deliver, it will help the team not feel the loss of Jones as much. First-round pick tight end Kyle Pitts will have a big impact on the offense, however, expect Ridley to get the first crack at being the number one.
- Ryan Tannehill: Getting Jones means that Ryan Tannehill doesn’t just have to rely on AJ Brown in the receiving core. Since joining the Titans, Tannehilll has enjoyed a career resurgence. He’s taken the Titans to the playoffs twice, made the pro-bowl, lead the league in passer rating, and was Comeback Player of the Year in 2019. Jones, along with free-agent signeeJosh Reynolds, gives Tannehill a good group of receivers that can make plays.
- Atlanta Falcons: Of course, the Atlanta Falcons are losers in this trade. Getting an extra second-rounder in 2022 and a fourth-rounder in 2023 could be helpful down the line. However, losing Julio Jones hurts the Falcons, as he was their best offensive player and a potential Hall of Famer. Yes, Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts will help as the Falcons move forward without Jones. However, it will be tough to replace the impact that Jones had each game. He was clutch for the Falcons and could make any catch. The Falcons finished 4-12 in 2020, and now the 2021 season looks cloudy.
- Matt Ryan: Fact, Matt Ryan is 36-years-old. Fact, he has never won a Super Bowl. Fact, Julio Jones was Ryan’s favorite target. Losing Jones meant that Matt Ryan lost a reliable target that has been with him for ten seasons. Ryan also does not have much time left to win a championship, and losing Jones means that the Falcons have taken a step back. If Ryan wants to win a ring before he retires, he may have to find another team to try and get one.
- Defenses in the AFC South: It was bad enough that the Titans had AJ Brown, who is a tough match-up on his own. Now with the addition of Jones, AFC South defenses have to pick their poison. Chose to double one, and the other might burn them. Defensive Coordinators will have a tough time trying to gameplay for this duo. The Jaguars, Texans, and Colts need to be ready when they go the play the Titans.