Look, this deal almost surely isn't going to happen, but the likes of ESPN's Tedy Bruschi and Mike Greenberg and Fox Sports' Clay Travis on Tuesday are speculating that an easy solution for the Green Bay Packers to make Aaron Rodgers happy is to trade young quarterback Jordan Love to the Atlanta Falcons for future Hall of Fame receiver Julio Jones, who said Monday on a Fox Sports 1's "Undisputed" TV show that he was "outta there" in regard to the Falcons.
The Tampa Bay Bucs currently are the +300 favorites at William Hill Sportsbook to repeat as NFC champions, with Green Bay at +850. Adding Jones to fellow Pro Bowlers in Rodgers, receiver Davante Adams and running back Aaron Jones would give Green Bay one of the most star-studded skill position quartets in the NFL in recent history, no question, and would certainly lower the Pack's title odds.
Perhaps more important, it gets rid of Love – when Green Bay GM Brian Gutekunst traded up a few spots in Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft to take the raw Love out of Utah State without telling Rodgers he was doing so, that started Rodgers' deteriorating relationship with the franchise.
Atlanta doesn't have a young quarterback in place to eventually replace former league MVP Matt Ryan – that QB certainly is not undrafted rookie Feleipe Franks or veteran journeyman backup AJ McCarron.
"Should've thought about this before you drafted the quarterback in the first round," Bruschi said during his appearance on "Get Up" on Tuesday regarding the Packers. "And here's what you do if you're a GM. If you want to fix this: publicly apologize to Aaron Rodgers, then trade Jordan Love for Julio Jones. Something drastic has to be done like that."
The Falcons reportedly are looking for a first-round pick for Jones, but no one expects that price to be paid considering Jones is 32 and might be breaking down a bit physically. Jones, whose base salary of $15.3 million is fully guaranteed for this year, is scheduled to cost the Falcons $23.05 million against the cap in 2021 and has cap hits of $19.263 million in 2022 and 2023.
The SportsLine Projection Model (see below) forecasts the Falcons dropping from 8.9 wins in the new 17-game 2021 regular season to 8.5 without Jones. Their chances of reaching the playoffs drop from 43.6 percent to 34.9 percent.
Green Bay has essentially zero salary-cap space right now, so it couldn't just swap Love for Jones, but the team could always restructure some deals – including Rodgers' -- and Jones likely would be open to doing the same. Jones wants to win a championship now and few spots offer a better chance than Green Bay.
NBC Sports' Chris Simms on Tuesday reported that Jones is targeting the Patriots and Titans as potential landing spots. Atlanta prefers to send Jones to the AFC. The Falcons do play New England in the regular season but not Green Bay or Tennessee.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Julio Jones' next team
- Patriots +250
- 49ers +300
- Raiders +400
- Chargers +700
- Titans +800
- Ravens +900
- Colts +1000
- Packers +1200
- Jaguars +1400
|w/ Julio Jones||8.9||52.40%||13.10%||43.60%||3.20%||1.30%|
|w/o Julio Jones||8.5||50.00%||9.70%||34.90%||2.10%||0.70%|
Where does every player appear in our 2021 Fantasy football rankings? And which rookie quarterback will provide shocking value? Join SportsLine right now to get 2021 Fantasy football rankings, all from the model that simulated the entire season 10,000 times.