Ten years ago, the Cleveland Browns could’ve drafted wide receiver Julio Jones.
Instead, they traded down from the sixth spot and the Atlanta Falcons took him.
Years later, a rebuilding Falcons team is looking to move Jones off their roster heading into the 2021 campaign.
The #Falcons are 'looking to trade' star WR Julio Jones partially due to salary cap restraints per Sports illustrated
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) May 21, 2021
Jones is a six-time Pro Bowl receiver, but his salary is too much for Atlanta right now.
The organization is reportedly looking for draft picks in return, so possibly the Browns kick the tires on Jones.
The More The Merrier
At first glance, the Browns have no room for a player of Jones’ caliber.
Cleveland has Jarvis Landry and hopefully Odell Beckham Jr. back healthy this season.
It sounds like Rashard Higgins will be the No. 3 option after his breakout campaign in 2020.
The Browns also added even more depth with the addition of speedster Anthony Schwartz during the draft.
Welcome to Cleveland, Anthony Schwartz!#BrownsDraft pic.twitter.com/NyPo8dl5Df
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 1, 2021
On paper, there is no room for Jones unless the Browns decide to trade Landry or OBJ.
Possibly, including one of them in the trade with Atlanta could lower the amount of draft capital in the deal.
However, it’s uncertain if the Browns want to run the risk with Jones’ recent injury history.
He was limited to nine games last season due to a foot issue that could very well linger into 2021.
Despite being limited, Jones averaged 85.7 yards per contest last season.
Landry who was serving as the Browns No. 1 throughout most of the 2020 campaign finished with 56 yards per game.
The 32-year-old receiver does come with some injury concerns, but continues to produce better than the current Browns receivers.
Taking A Chance On Jones
The Browns are already a legitimate threat in the AFC, but would adding Jones put them over the top?
Cleveland managed to beat the Steelers in the playoffs, but weren’t able to get through the Chiefs.
The addition of Jones might be enough for Cleveland to be considered the best roster in the AFC.
A fully healthy Jones is a dangerous player and there a few players in the league that can slow him down.
He offers speed, size, and fantastic spacing down the field, so he’d be a perfect fit for the Browns system.
Julio Jones. 73 yard Touchdown. The best WR in the league. pic.twitter.com/NYSXyGVX90
— Georgia Sports Now (@GASportsNow) January 22, 2017
The combination of Jones and Beckham together would be a frightening thought for any opposing defense.
However, the addition of Jones would almost certainly mean Landry or Beckham will be cut or traded.
Cleveland has the cap space to take on Jones’ $15.3 million salary for the 2021 season.
After that, he is owed a much more reasonable $11.5 million over the following two years.
Somehow, the Browns do have the money to take on Jones without cutting anyone for cap space.
Sometimes, organizations need to take big risks in order to bring a Super Bowl to their team.
A talent like Jones does not become available very often and he’d certainly make them Super Bowl favorites.
It is also a fairly risky trade because the Browns would likely give up early-round draft picks and possibly Landry or another impactful player.
This is a high risk move due to Jones’ injury history, but we’ll see if Andrew Berry believes in him.
Matt Cristino says
The Browns should have interest in Julio Jones of the Atlanta falcon’s.