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NFL Draft

Why Seahawks Must Attempt To Trade For Julio Jones

  • The Draft Network
  • June 1, 2021
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Julio Jones is seemingly on the verge of playing with a new team for the first time in his storied career. After 10 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Jones has requested a trade and now has multiple suitors. The Falcons have been in talks with a number of teams and reportedly have at least one offer on the table. 

There’s plenty of interest in Jones, who is still one of the best wide receivers across the NFL despite a down season in Atlanta. Teams contending for championships and in a win-now mode with a reliable, competent passer would benefit from Jones’ services. One of those teams has recently entered the trade talks. 

Jones and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had phone conversations discussing the possibility of playing together, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini. The Falcons have an offer of a future first-round pick and have asked teams for a first-round selection in return, ESPN previously reported. This wouldn’t be a problem for Seattle, a team famed for trading out of the first round, if it had a first-round pick to give. The Seahawks traded a 2022 NFL Draft first-round selection for do-it-all safety Jamal Adams last year.

It would be difficult for Seattle to meet Atlanta on a crowded trade market. The Seahawks have to put together a trade package better than what the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans offer; both teams, among others, including the Los Angeles Rams, have expressed interest in Jones and have been in talks with the Falcons. The Seahawks, despite the absences of that coveted first-round pick, offer a great deal more for Jones than the handful of other teams vying for the All-Pro pass-catchers.

Seattle has had a turbulent offseason itself. Wilson publicly expressed his frustration with the lack of production he’s had for the bulk of his career and a desire to be more actively involved with personnel decisions. It’s a common ask for star quarterbacks and something Wilson has done in the past, specifically with the receiving corps. As The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar stated, for more than two years Wilson “has openly campaigned for more firepower.” The only difference now is that Wilson has both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf as his top targets. It would put Jones in one of the best wide receivers rooms in the league.

Lockett and Metcalf both surpassed 1,000 yards last season while playing a whopping 89% and 92% of the team’s snaps, respectively. Depth has been an issue with the Seahawks across multiple positions and multiple seasons. They haven’t utilized a WR3—or even had one—and recently drafted D’Wayne Eskridge to help fill that role. Jones could come in and immediately contribute to an already tough-to-defend passing attack, and Seattle needs to continue to appease its quarterback, who has kept the team relevant after the Legion of Boom was dismantled.

The Falcons would need to be okay with a second-round pick in next year’s draft, and in turn, the Seahawks would bolster their already talented receiving corps. Head coach Pete Carroll has been adamant about continuing to establish the run, but after the NFL got a taste of what it looked like when Wilson was better utilized, it would be difficult to regress in the pass-happy league. If Seattle can finesse a deal with Atlanta with its limited draft stock, Jones would be a more than welcome addition for Wilson and Co. and elevate the level of competition in the division.

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