Would Julio Jones’s Lambeau Leaps be Worth the Box Office Price for The Packers?

Would Julio Jones’s Lambeau Leaps be Worth the Box Office Price for The Packers?

Questioning the Packers Depth at Wide Receiver:

With an offseason dedicated to filling the many holes left in the roster from a disappointing 2017 season, The Packers roster is beginning to take shape.  One position that has some worrying, is the current situation at the wide receiver.

The Packers will enter training camp with Davante Adams and Randall Cobb listed as the top two players at wide receiver on the depth chart and proceed without much experience beyond that.

Many believe that the lack of proven production at the wide receiver position leaves the Packers offense in quite a precarious position, which is why some have suggested testing the trade market should the Julio Jones contract negotiations get ugly.

Julio Jones Contract Dispute:

The Falcons have Julio Jones under contract for three years and could potentially tag him for two more seasons, essentially giving them five more years of control over the star wide receiver.

Jones has clearly outperformed his contract to this point and will be entering the third year of an extremely front-loaded five year $71.25 million dollar contract that has now seen all of his $47 million guaranteed paid to him.  Under the last three years of this contract, Jones is owed a non guaranteed $34.426 million which averages out to an average annual salary of $11.47 million which is well below his market value.

The Falcons could play hardball with Jones and tell him to play within the parameters of the final three years of his contract and risk alienating him, or worse, forcing him to demand a trade or they could give Jones a guaranteed raise or new contract to ensure that one of the best quarterback, wide receiver duos, remains intact for years to come.  It would make little sense to sign Matt Ryan to a record extension and then nickel and dime his most valuable receiver.

Would Julio Jones’s Lambeau Leaps be Worth the Box Office Price for The Packers?

In order to acquire Julio Jones, the Packers would have to give up a king’s ransom to land the star wide receiver in the prime of his career.  Not only would they presumably have to trade Atlanta both of their 2019 first round picks but logic would dictate that Atlanta would also ask for their 2019 second round pick as well as their 2020 first round picks as well.

If you haven’t already dismissed this proposal because it is way too steep a price, consider this, in addition to not having a first-round pick until 2021, the Packers would have to spend a tremendous amount of money to lock up Julio Jones long term which would present some interesting cap scenarios moving forward.

The only way that the Packers could squeeze Julio Jones under the cap without releasing any more key players would be to use the remaining $7.3 million in cap space as a base salary and give him a huge signing bonus in the $13-15 million price range.

If this still sounds reasonable to you, consider this, the Packers still have to extend Aaron Rodgers and although that could create some short-term cap relief, it would not give them any flexibility to retain any of their pending free agents or pursue any other free agents from the 2019 class.

In addition to the financial and organizational aspects that would complicate any potential deal for Julio Jones, the Packers signing of Marcedes Lewis will now allow them to use Jimmy Graham primarily as a wide receiver in both the outside and slot positions.   This will now provide the Packers with a foursome of Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Jimmy Graham, and Geronimo Allison, which is a more than a formidable unit.

It is Only Logical That The Falcons Will Pay Julio Jones:

Trade Scenarios like these, are almost always just the media creating a dream scenario in which a team like the Packers could create an NBA like super team offense to win a Super Bowl in 2018.

Although it is fun to dream about, a trade of this magnitude would not be feasible for either the Packers or the Falcons.  Furthermore, Arthur Blank is a savvy 75-year-old businessman, who built The Home Depot franchise from the ground up and knows that getting rid of such a rare and valuable commodity like Julio Jones, is simply bad for business.

——————

David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave

——————

Share