There have been several notable trades this offseason, but the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons pulled off one of the more intriguing ones, as the latter sent seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones and a 2023 sixth-round pick to Nashville in exchange for a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick. Jones is now 32 years old and missed seven games last year due to a hamstring issue, but he has still been one of the most impactful receivers in the league when on the field.
The Falcons reportedly wanted a first-round pick in return for one of the best receivers in football, but struggled to find a team willing to part with one. Still, first-year Falcons head coach and former Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith believes that his side got what it wanted and that the trade was a win for both teams.
"We knew the issue with the cap and then obviously the cap went down this year, coming off the bizarre year with the pandemic, the cap actually shrunk. So we knew there were going to be some big decisions we would have to make coming up. The way everything worked out, we feel pretty good," Smith said on Chris Collinsworth's podcast, (H/T Pro Football Talk). "We feel like it was a win-win. With the salary cap, and Julio going to Tennessee and us right now being able to solve our short-term issue with the cap."
It wasn't just two picks the Falcons received for parting ways with Jones, it was also the $15.3 million in salary they would have to pay him if they kept the wide receiver. Jones reportedly wanted a change of scenery, but the Falcons also were motivated to make a deal in order to free up some cap space.
Losing the star receiver, who has led your offense for the last decade, is certainly tough, but Smith saw it as necessary and is happy with how everything worked out.
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