Some Indianapolis Colts fans would likely rather not get their hopes up about the team orchestrating a trade for Julio Jones, and understandably so.
After all, throughout his four-year tenure, GM Chris Ballard has bypassed making blockbuster moves to bolster a position that isn’t crying out for help.
Despite that, however, we maintain the idea that trading for a player of Jones’ caliber shouldn’t even be a debate, as he’d morph the Colts into championship contender overnight, but such is life under Ballard’s financially-observant tutelage.
We’re not sure how much more evidence we have to provide for fans to come to the realization that trading for Jones is a no-brainer despite his age and injury history, but maybe the latest buzz about the superstar receiver’s market will do the trick.
It’s become evident that the Patriots are a real threat to land Jones, right? Well, he’s reportedly identified the Titans as another potential destination. Suddenly, the Pats are the good outcome.
The Colts will be in trouble if the Patriots don’t trade for Julio Jones.
In other words, the Colts, assuming they don’t pull off a trade, better hope Patriots de facto general manager Bill Belichick works his magic and lands Jones. If not, Indianapolis will have their work cut out for them to win their first division title since 2014.
For as talented as the Colts’ defense is, they’d be hard-pressed to stop an offense highlighted by Jones, two-time defending rushing champ Derrick Henry and AJ Brown, who’s tallied 2,126 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns on 17.4 yards per catch (!) over his first two seasons…without Jones opposite him.
We hate to strike fear into Colts fans’ hearts, but there’s significant smoke surrounding Tennessee and Jones. Not only have he and Henry been working out together this offseason, but Brown grew up idolizing Jones and has already said he’d give up his No. 11 jersey, which Jones has donned throughout his career, if a trade happens.
Want to cringe even more, Colts fans? Check out this video of Henry and Jones putting in the work this offseason at an undisclosed location. You have to think their long-standing friendship (plus his connections to Brown) puts the Titans on a level playing field to that of the Patriots, no?
Not only that, but Tennessee, despite dishing out north of $60 million in free agency this offseason, has the requisite cap flexibility to absorb Jones’ contract (his three-year, $66 million extension will come into play next season).
We hate gloating about the Titans as much as the next Colts fan, but we’d give them a better chance of landing Jones than Indianapolis…especially after they poached edge rushers Denico Autry and Bud Dupree (two reported Colts targets) in free agency this offseason.
We also hate putting Colts diehards in a position to root for the rival Patriots to bail them out by acquiring Jones, but we’ve simply been given no other choice following this report and the mounting buzz connecting the former No. 6 overall pick with a move to Tennessee.
Consider this a warning.