Julio Jones is all but done in Atlanta as the Falcons star receiver has been at the center of trade rumors for the past few weeks. Things are now hitting a fever pitch after Jones broke his silence on the matter on Monday, telling Shannon Sharpe of Fox Sports that he is "out of there" when directly asked if he wanted to remain in Atlanta. Of course, given the talent that Jones possesses even at 32 years of age, teams will be interested in his services at the right price.
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora recently broke down a number of potential landing spots for Jones (including the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, and others) and determined his possible fit on each club. Now, we're getting an even deeper look at what a Jones trade could do to the trajectory of the NFL as we head into 2021. CBS Sports research analyst Stephen Oh recently conducted projections for Jones in the event that he is moved and how that may impact the club that ultimately acquires him.
First, let's look at Atlanta. According to Oh's projections, the Falcons' chances of reaching the playoffs drop rather significantly without Jones as there is an 8.7% dip. They already had a slim chance of winning the NFC South (13.1% with Jones) but fall 9.7% with him off the roster. Atlanta also has less than a 1% chance of winning Super Bowl LVI with Jones elsewhere as opposed to a 1.3% chance with him on the club throughout next season, per Oh's projections.
As for who could be the biggest winner out of this bunch if they acquire Jones, that honor falls on the Baltimore Ravens. Their Super Bowl odds jump from 9.5% with their current roster to 12% with Jones. That's the biggest championship swing of Oh's projections, which also include the Patriots, Titans, and 49ers. Baltimore also sees its odds of winning the division and reaching the playoffs increase by 5.3% and 4.4%, respectively.
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Meanwhile, the Titans improve the most in terms of regular-season win percentage as they would bump over the 10-win threshold with Jones secured. They also saw the biggest leap of the bunch when looking at possibly winning the division (9.3% uptick) and getting into the postseason (9.9% uptick). San Francisco sees its odds of winning the NFC West and making the playoffs increase by around 7-8% and is second to the Ravens in this group in terms of increasing Super Bowl odds (2.1% increase with Jones).
The one team where Jones' presence doesn't make as much of an impact as you may imagine he would is the Patriots. Oh's projections see New England improve its chances of a division title, coming out of the AFC and winning the Super Bowl, but minimally. Bill Belichick's squad would still have just a 2.3% of winning Super Bowl LVI with Jones as opposed to a 1.7% chance without him. The biggest swing as it relates to this landing spot would be the Patriots' chances of making the playoffs, which would increase 5.6% to 56.1% in Oh's simulations.