Julio Jones to the Titans: Analysis

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Julio Jones will join the Titans’ star studded offense of Derrick Henry, AJ Brown, and Ryan Tannehill.

Nick Holt, Editor-in-chief

It’s not everyday that a player of Julio Jones’ caliber is traded in today’s NFL, but on June 6, the deal was done.  ESPN’s Diana Russini reported that longtime Atlanta Falcon, and future Hall of Fame Wide Receiver, Julio Jones had been traded to the Tennesse Titans.  The details were released shortly after, that the Titans gave up a 2nd round and 4th round selection in return for Julio Jones and a 6th round selection.

After taking a day to let the deal set in, I felt there was a general consensus that the Titans got a “steal.”  Though, did they really? I think there’s a lot to be said about the trade, and about the price of Julio Jones, and if the price was a fair and accurate one.  Let’s go back and take a look at some players who are similar to Julio who were also traded: DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs, and Mohamed Sanu.  Each player and their respective deals should give us three different ways to look at the Julio Jones trade.

Subject Comparison #1: DeAndre Hopkins

The DeAndre Hopkins trade was most similar to Julio Jones’ regarding the amount of return each team got back for their receivers (Hopkins/Julio).  On March 16, 2020, the Houston Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins and a 4th round pick to the Arizona Cardinals for David Johnson, a 2nd round pick, and a 4th round pick.  At the time of the trade, Hopkins was 28 years old and has played in every game of his career except for two, while also being considered one of, if not the best wideout in the NFL.  So comparing both Hopkins and Julio at the time of both trades, it seems as if the Titans got ripped off.  The Cardinals got a younger, healthier, better player for the same if not less compensation than the Titans did for Julio.

Subject Comparison #2: Stefon Diggs

Diggs had a bit of a steep price and there’s good reason why, but it really makes Houston’s trade with the Cardinals look horrible, and it’s part of the reason why Bill O’Brien no longer has a job with Houston.  Hopkins was arguably and still may be better than Diggs at the time of the trade, yet the Vikings were able to squeeze more out of the deal than Houston was: a 1st-round pick, a 5th-round pick, a 6th-round pick and a 4th-round pick to the Bills in return for Diggs and a 6th.  So what does that mean regarding the Titans?  Well if we don’t look at the Hopkins deal at all, then it makes sense.  Diggs is younger and better than Julio, meaning he should have a larger price.

Subject Comparison #3: Mohamed Sanu

Mohamed Sanu was traded to the New England Patriots for a 2nd round selection, straight up deal.  At the time, the double standard of every move Bill Belichick makes is a genius one, was in full effect.  But looking at it now? This was a horrendous deal for the Patriots, even worse than the Hopkins trade.  Sanu is no where near as good as Julio, Diggs, and Hopkins, obviously, this deal was done much before the other two, and it honestly makes the Houston Texans even worse again.  But if we look at the Titans, now it looks as if they got a steal for Julio, only a fourth round pick more for a future Hall of Famer? Sign me up.

But now let’s look at all together, personally, I think that both the Hopkins and Sanu trades are extremely bad trades.  It all depends on how you want to look at it, if it’s the Titans traded the same amount for Julio as the Cardinals did for Hopkins, then it can be seen as a loss for the Titans, but if it’s the Titans traded only a fourth round pick more for Julio than the Patriots did for Sanu, than it’s an extremely good trade for the Titans.  Personally, I think the trade makes sense, out of the three past trades, the Diggs trade is most sensible, and what the Titans traded for Julio is a step down from what the Bills traded for Diggs, just as Julio’s value is a step down from Diggs. So overall, I think it was a solid trade, regarding the value given and received for both Atlanta and Tennessee.