What is up with the Falcons right now? Are the Julio trade rumors real or just rampant media speculation? What is going on? I gotta tell ya, feels almost nostalgic and way more enjoyable when it isn’t your team being stupid.

So due to salary cap complications and a new regime that has no loyalty to Jones, he’s apparently on the trading block. Falcons fans are understandably stressed out. Jones and Ryan have effectively been the face of the team for the past decade. Even if Jones has likely entered the downturn years (he’s 32) and his last year wasn’t as great as previous seasons, he’s also still a world class talent and an unbeatable veteran presence. He’s the kinda guy every fan wants to watch retire with the same team after a long career. Seeing him shipped off for draft picks would be depressing. Especially for some of the very weak trade scenarios I’ve seen floated around. Even now I’d think Julio is still worth a first, at minimum a second plus ample extra picks and a player or two.

But the bigger question is what are the Falcons doing? Are they rebuilding? They have a brand new front office and coach and they’ve got holes all over the place. Shipping Jones off makes sense if you want to start fresh…but they kept Ryan. Not only that, they extended him to save cap room and keep him around. They were in perfect position to draft a new QB and give that new QB the kind of offense any rookie could ask for. Julio? Ridley? Hard to lean on better players when learning the ropes. But the Falcons drafted Kyle Pitts, one of the annual several generational talents in the draft, instead. Drafting a TE at pick 4 is some win-now type shit. They extended Ryan and gave him a great new weapon. What about the rest of the roster? Why not trade down and gather more resources? They better hope Pitts ends up the next Gronk if they have to ditch Julio for this.

This is one of those situations where Julio literally improves every team so it’s hard to say what a good landing spot would be. It would probably be easier to look at teams with some cap space, need a WR, and are more win-now than rebuilding. The Jets have a ton of room and Julio would do wonders for Wilson, who’s current roster of weapons reads like a pile of broken BB guns. But the Jets are rebuilding big time and are nowhere near competing and probably shouldn’t ship off a bunch of needed picks for a 32yr old Jones. Same with a team like the Jaguars. The Browns? The Browns have cap room and are finally in win-now mode. Plus, OBJ can’t stay healthy. That might work. The Ravens? Less cap space, but also win-now, and in frankly dire need of weapons. The Colts? Not quite rebuilding, not quite win-now, but it would give Carson Intz a great throwaway safety valve. The Patriots? Fuck please don’t do that Falcons. Don’t send him to the team he did everything in his power to save you from.

Anyway since there is nothing going on expect this trade nonsense to drive the news cycle until it happens. It will happen. I remember what it felt like when I naturally assumed it wouldn’t. I wont make that mistake again.

EDIT: Literally this morning in what appears to be a candid phone call on Undisputed where Julio didn’t seem to know he was on live TV he admitted he wants out of Atlanta, yikes. That’s gonna drive his price down and hurt the Falcons even more.