Julio Jones has dominated headlines lately as it appears his storied career in Atlanta is coming to an end. Many prognosticators believe that the favorite to acquire his services is the Seattle Seahawks. Let’s look at the impact he’d have in Seattle and how he fits into how they’d ideally like to operate their offense.
Jones could be a tremendous asset to a Seattle offense that seemed to disappear late last season. Seattle drafted the explosive D’Wayne Eskridge in this year’s draft to help fill out the wide receiver room, but pairing Jones with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf would give Seattle the most explosive unit in the NFC West. Seattle also added Gerald Everett to the tight end room, which will help open up the offense as well.
In a wide receiver room that has a couple of smaller “race car” types at receiver, Jones could be a proven big-bodied receiver. He’s proven that even at this stage in his career he can win in the short-to-intermediate areas but also go deep on occasion. His experience and high-level production are rivaled by very few. This is the same Jones that has, on three occasions, led the NFL in receiving yards per game. Jones would also allow Pete Carrol to do what he's always wanted to do: run the ball more. This is presumably to control and even finish close games. Throwing the football excessively and an inability to run the football doomed them late in the season.
Let’s be clear, Jones would make any offense better, even at this stage in his career. Jones can provide mentorship and leadership to a really youthful receiving corps. His established veteran presence would be another calming force late in the season. You could also consider his addition as nurturing the investment of Metcalf. Jones could be a sounding board for their young star receiver who’s looking to take his game to yet another level. Metcalf is an explosive threat who is still improving at uncovering in the intermediate part of the field. Jones could also assist in this regard.
It’s also important to remember that the division rival San Francisco 49ers are lurking nearby. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was the play-caller for the Falcons when Atlanta went to the Super Bowl in 2016, so he understands the value Jones brings. You’d undoubtedly rather play with Jones than against him twice a year.
However, it's important to remember that he isn’t the same player he once was. As the proverbial saying goes, father time is undefeated and Jones is 32 years old. He also missed seven games in 2020 with injury, begging the question: Are his best days in the rearview mirror?
Another issue that complicates any potential trade is Jones wanting a new contract after this season. Teams have to ask themselves what they are willing to give up for an aging, descending player who is on the verge of asking for more money.
If Jones gets traded to Seattle, the Seahawks will have a scary offense that will add even more fireworks to the most competitive division in the NFL.