Arthur Smith calls Julio Jones trade a “win-win”

USA Today

The Falcons traded away one of the best receivers in the NFL this month, but coach Arthur Smith doesn’t think that was a loss for his team.

Smith said on Cris Collinsworth’s podcast that he knew as soon as he took the Falcons head coaching job that Atlanta was going to have to make some difficult moves to address its difficult salary cap situation, and that in the end he’s satisfied with how it went down.

“We knew the issue with the cap and then obviously the cap went down this year, coming off the bizarre year with the pandemic, the cap actually shrunk. So we knew there were going to be some big decisions we would have to make coming up. The way everything worked out, we feel pretty good,” Smith said. “We feel like it was a win-win. With the salary cap, and Julio going to Tennessee and us right now being able to solve our short-term issue with the cap.”

The Falcons got a 2022 second-round draft pick in the trade, as well as a swap of third-day picks in 2023. More importantly for the Falcons, they saved the $15.3 million in salary they would have had to pay Jones if he had remained on the roster this season. Smith’s comments make clear that getting Jones’ salary off their books was one of the Falcons’ highest priorities this year.

13 responses to “Arthur Smith calls Julio Jones trade a “win-win”

  1. I think Atlanta loses by not finding a way to make it work to keep him. I think the offense could’ve really been something special this year.

  2. i think smith knows julio’s track record of missed games and practices in the past and he is not getting any younger….tennessee will find out this season if their all star receiver is a boom or bust…no one knows at this time.. so let us not judge him until after this season is over…

  3. Getting out from under a once elite player that is now breaking down and vastly overpaid is a huge win for ATL.

  4. The trade is based on luck. The Titans will be lucky if Jones makes it through the season without being sidelined by injury. The Falcons will be lucky if their 2nd round pick is on the field for four seasons or more.

  5. Maybe this is his way of saying, “I wasn’t the one who gave an insane contract to a WR who is over 30.”

  6. Especially considering if Julio had a decent year in 2021, he’d probably hold out for a new, bigger deal, in 2022.

  7. I’m just glad the Patriots didn’t go after him…. Don’t get me wrong, love the player but not the age & contract/cap implications in addition to the loss of picks it would have included….
    I guess the trade could be looked at as a loss-loss OR win-win depending on the outcome 2-3 years down the road…. the addition to the Titans offense surly looks huge at this time…..think Atlanta will be fine with him gone, they got some good players there still……

  8. >>>A hall of fame caliber receiver for a 2nd round pick ? Sure, a win win.<<<

    The reality is Tennessee is going to be one of the better teams in the NFL. Fair to say perhaps one of the top 5 or 6 teams. Or maybe the 7th best. And that'd just assuming they won't be even better than that.

    So at best that 2nd round pick for Atlanta might be the 25th pick (57th overall) in that round and it's more likely it would be further back. That pick is going to be closer to a 3rd round pick. Yes, a 2nd pick but a poor one in return for a receiver like that.

  9. It’s a fair trade so the situation is somewhere in the middle of win-win and lose-lose.

  10. Yes the Falcons got a win in terms of the salary cap and that is about it. Overall, the talent level just dropped at WR. This trade should have been made 2 years ago when he asked for more money on his existing contract. Everyone would have been better off.

  11. Henry is another year older and we all know how Tannehill plays without a top-5 running game. Titans SB window closing.

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