Colts: Why are we arguing about trading for Julio Jones?

Thomas Carannante
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - SEPTEMBER 22: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons catches a touchdown pass while being defended by Clayton Geathers #26 of the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - SEPTEMBER 22: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons catches a touchdown pass while being defended by Clayton Geathers #26 of the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Guys. Guys. Guyyyyyyssss. Why are we debating about something so logical? Shouldn’t we all be on the same team when it comes to upgrading the Indianapolis Colts‘ roster?

How has the topic of trading for Julio Jones become polarizing? Why are there fans adamantly opposed to it? Why have some of us become so enamored with salary cap concerns and parting with draft capital?

Shouldn’t arming new quarterback Carson Wentz with as many elite weapons as possible be the end goal? Especially since the reported asking price for Jones isn’t even that high? Wouldn’t we call this an opportunistic scenario?

Sure, we’ve been a tad critical of general manager Chris Ballard — but only because of his apparent hesitation and/or unwillingness to make “the big move.” That doesn’t feel like a biased argument. He’s famously a conservative GM. And that’s OK.

Trading for Julio Jones shouldn’t be a contentious debate among Colts fans.

Everybody understands that parting with prohibitive draft capital is a problem. Teams need draft picks to build their roster — especially the Colts, because Ballard is arguably the best at evaluating young talent over the last four years.

However, this isn’t one of those situations. The Falcons have no leverage. Jones’ contract (we’ll get to that in a minute) doesn’t help Atlanta’s cause. The Colts need a wide receiver that profiles as a No. 1 threat. They do not have one, despite their corps being extremely talented. This is expected to cost one (1) draft selection, and it’ll likely end up being a second-rounder if rumors are any indication. And if you part with a late first-rounder? So be it.

Though Indy’s situation is tricky because Wentz will cost them a conditional second-rounder in 2022 (which could be a second-round pick if he doesn’t hit certain benchmarks or a first-rounder if he does), that’s the front office’s job to sort out. Not the fans’.

And you want to talk salary cap? “We don’t need Jones. He’s 32 and costs too much.” Ohhh we’re sorry. We didn’t see you back there crunching numbers for Ballard. Excuse us.

Newsflash! The salary cap is a mirage. Look at what the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs do every year. They have under $1 million in cap space heading into the season and after the season and they still manage to make marquee upgrades. There are loopholes. There are ways to upgrade your roster without lingering in salary cap hell. Again, that’s the front office’s job to sort out. Not the fans’.

Oh, and one more thing one Jones. Whether you believe the Colts “need” him or not isn’t relative. That’s a matter of opinion. What’s not, however, is the fact the Colts would be significantly better with him. He’s still a Pro Bowler. He led the league in receiving in 2018 and racked up a total of 2,165 yards and nine touchdowns over his last 24 games. Explain to us how another team wouldn’t be better with that kind of production? Indy has had just ONE receiver with a 1,000-yard season since 2017 — and it was TY Hilton, who did it in 2018 with 1,270 yards.

Jones has logged more yards than that six times out of seven seasons in which he’s appeared in 14 games or more. He’s still got at least two good years left. His extension is for three. Outside of your concerns with parting with too much draft capital and the salary cap (which shouldn’t be of your concern), please explain why the Colts shouldn’t make this move?

Here’s another worry: a lot of smoke surrounding the Titans and Jones. A lot of it. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

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