Juli-No! Cleveland Browns don’t need WR Julio Jones
The Cleveland Browns don’t appear to be interested in adding wide receiver Julio Jones and there’s no reason they should be
The Cleveland Browns need Julio Jones about as much as we need another Baker Mayfield Progressive commercial. Simply put – they don’t.
Sure, both seem like fun ideas at first, but eventually, we’d all be longing for one less high-maintenance receiver and a little more Flo from Progressive.
Though Jones rumors have been circulating for weeks, news of his desire to play somewhere other than Atlanta broke after the wide receiver was called by FS1’s Shannon Sharpe on live TV Monday morning. Sharpe, a Hall of Famer, cohosts “Undisputed” with the controversial Skip Bayless.
During the show, Sharpe pulled out his cell phone, called Jones, and asked if he wants to go to the Cowboys (a rumored trade destination) or stay in Atlanta. Jones replied: “Oh man, nah, I’m outta (Atlanta) man”.
Almost immediately, the rumor mill started matching Jones with various teams across the league. Citing Jones’ desire to play for a contender, Cleveland has been a popular choice amongst the Twittersphere for media and fans alike.
But if I’m the Cleveland Browns, I’m saying thanks, but no thanks. Julio is without question one the NFL’s top receiving options. He’s a seven-time Pro Bowler but played just nine games last season because of injury. Entering his 11th season, Jones is 32 years old and though he’s still productive, his best days are likely behind him.
To acquire him, the Falcons are reportedly seeking at least a first-round pick. And whichever team ends up with Jones better have some cash laying around – he’s due to make just over $15 million this season.
Though the Browns are in (seemingly) good shape cap-wise, an extra $15 million would be better spent elsewhere. Likely extensions are in the near future for players like Denzel Ward, Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, and Wyatt Teller, amongst others. Maybe more importantly, the wide receiver room is as crowded as a pre-Covid Dawg Pound.
In addition to Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, and a host of other veteran returnees, the Browns added speedy Anthony Schwartz in the third round of April’s draft. Coupled with head coach Kevin Stefanski’s unabashed love affair with involving tight ends in the offense, that’s a whole lot of mouths for Baker Mayfield to try and feed.
All 11 starters return to a Cleveland offense that was amongst the league’s best over the second half of last season. That includes the return of Beckham Jr. As we’ve seen in the past when Mayfield has a healthy OBJ on the field, he tends to force the ball to the dynamic, but oft-injured Beckham Jr.
Finding enough balls to keep Landry, OBJ, and Julio (who has voiced his displeasure with a lack of red-zone targets) all content seems about as likely as a Hue Jackson – Todd Haley reunion on the Browns sideline.
Entering year two in Stefanski’s system, the Browns’ high-powered offense should be even more explosive. Adding Jones to the offense would cost the Browns cap-space, touches, draft pick(s) and has the potential to disrupt a young and ascending offensive core.
Avoiding trading for Julio Jones – now that’s Progressive.