Cleveland Browns should change course on Julio Jones if price drops
So far, the Cleveland Browns have shown no interest at all in acquiring Julio Jones but if he goes for a third-round pick, could that change their minds?
There are a couple of questions to ask when it comes to whether or not the Cleveland Browns should go after Julio Jones — the future Hall of Fame wide receiver who is rumored to be on the way out of Atlanta.
Those questions are whether they need him and whether they can afford him — both in terms of the salary cap as well as the cost to pay him afterward.
First up is the question of need. And no, the Browns technically don’t need Julio Jones. They won 11 games without him last season and did most of that without Odell Beckham, Jr. as well who is set to return from a torn ACL.
But then there’s the question of cost. As far as the actual cap goes, the Browns could work Julio into their equation as is. According to Cody Williams of NFL Spin Zone, it would cost roughly $15.3 million this season to trade for Jones and Cleveland has roughly $21 million to spend — if they wanted to. The cap also goes up in 2022, so he would be affordable then as well, but we also know how easy the cap can be to navigate in future years.
However, there’s also the question of what it would take to land Jones. Originally, it seemed to be a first-round pick, which would have made no sense for the Browns since he’s not a need but rather a luxury. Now, that too may have changed.
What will Julio Jones cost to acquire?
Jeff Darlington recently said that he expects Jones to go for a second or third-round pick which would make more sense considering his age and salary. That could also change the minds of the Cleveland front office.
While a third-rounder isn’t exactly a throw-away pick, it’s something that any team should be willing to give up for a wide receiver of Jones’ caliber. Think of some of the Browns recent third-round picks which include players such as Chad Thomas, Sione Takitaki, Jordan Elliott, and Jacob Phillips.
Some have been hits and some have been misses — but all would be worth giving up for Jones.
So sure, the Browns don’t need to add Julio to their roster, but if they can afford it, why not. I mean, I don’t need to drive an orange Rolls Royce to work every day but if you’re willing to give me one for the price of a Toyota, I sure as heck will be making my trip in style.
Jones might be 32 years old and coming off a season with some nagging injuries but he still does draw constant double-teams and is able to stretch the field. In fact, his ability to beat people deep is a perfect match for how well Baker Mayfield throws the ball downfield.
If Cleveland added him and didn’t move on from their other star receivers, this would be a Super Bowl contending team without question.