When information first dropped that Julio Jones was likely to be traded this offseason (thanks Shannon Sharpe), a majority of fans and reporters alike were quick to write off the Philadelphia Eagles as a possible landing spot. Even with three potential 2022 first round picks in hand, the Eagles current financial situation and roster make-up didn’t align with someone like Julio.
After all, Jones is a 30+ year old veteran receiver looking to make one final push for a Super Bowl ring, who’s also on a $15.3 million salary. Even if you think Philly is better equipped to win in 2021 than the oddsmakers do, the hurdles that would need to be jumped over to simply fit Julio’s salary on the roster would be extensive.
However, according to Ed Kracz over at Sports Illustrated, at least two sources have confirmed that the Eagles have in fact been checking in on the availability of Jones:
"It appears the San Francisco 49ers have emerged as the frontrunner to land Julio Jones, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Saturday.Still lurking in the shadows, though, are the Eagles.A pair of sources confirmed, also on Saturday, a report earlier this week that Philadelphia is indeed sniffing around the Atlanta Falcons superstar receiver. And, if it happens, wouldn’t that bring some extra juice for the season opener, which happens to be in Atlanta against the Falcons?"
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For starters, this isn’t all that surprising when you take into account Howie Roseman’s track record as general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s frequently been someone who pokes around at any and all trade possibilities, always doing his “due diligence” as an executive.
For example, the Eagles did quite a bit of work researching quarterbacks during this past draft process, despite ultimately trading up for a wide receiver in DeVonta Smith.
The Philadelphia Eagles keep seeing their name connected to the likes of disgruntled Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones.
In his above mentioned article, Kracz goes on to explain that the Eagles could in fact fit Julio’s lofty salary into their payroll if Zach Ertz were to be traded/released. Some money is set to free up once the post-June 1st cuts go into effect, and Ertz is still counting for $8.5 million against the cap.
However, the Eagles have yet to sign their rookie class to contracts yet, so the problem of not having enough cap space still remains. The team would either have to further restructure and extend the contracts of aging players already on their roster (a strategy that has seriously backfired in recent years), or they’d have to immediately restructure Julio’s contract upon acquiring him. A rather risky maneuver to make considering his age and recent injury history, and something that Julio himself might not be on board with either considering the fact that the Eagles are coming off a four-win season.
Jones very blatantly expressed his desire to win as the main reason for his trade request, something the Eagles haven’t really been doing as of late.
With so much draft capital lined up for next season, it’s understandable as to why the Eagles keep getting linked to Jones. Roseman has been aggressive before, and he currently has the ammo to get such a deal done. However, due to the same money issues and the lack of a “win-now” roster, I still think the odds of such a trade going through are near zero.