The Julio Jones drama in Atlanta is boiling over after a hot-mic radio interview moment between the disgruntled Falcons wide receiver and FOX Sports host Shannon Sharpe. And it gives more grist to the mill for Browns fans who want the perennial All-Pro wideout in Cleveland.
First, Jones made it clear he is done in Atlanta. or at least he believes that to be the truth.
When Sharpe asked Jones if he wanted to stay in Atlanta, Jones quickly responded,
“Nah, I’m outta there man.”
He then cleared up that he has no interest in joining the Dallas Cowboys despite the groundswell of rumors coming from Texas. Stating, “I want to win”, Jones quickly agrees with Sharpe that Dallas isn’t a desirable place to accomplish that.
“I ain’t going to Dallas, man. I never thought about going (there),” Jones tells Sharpe to the bemusement of Dallas-centric co-host Skip Bayless.
To add fuel to the fire, the Falcons themselves commented and analyzed the situation publicly:
But could Cleveland fit the bill?
It’s a popular topic in Cleveland and with Browns fans everywhere. The Browns do provide Jones with a great chance to win, something that he has made clear is very important to him. And the Browns are also one of the few teams that can afford his three-year, $66 million contract without gutting the roster.
Jones ruined some of the Falcons’ leverage in any potential trade with his matter-of-fact tone with Sharpe. That should only drive down the price tag to acquire Jones, now 32 and coming off a season where he missed almost half the year due to injury.
However, the Browns already have one of the league’s highest payrolls at wide receiver with Pro Bowl veterans Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. each earning over $14.7 million in 2021. The team invested a third-round pick in speedy rookie Anthony Schwartz and brought back fan favorite Rashard Higgins and special teams staple KhaDarel Hodge this offseason, too.
Any hypothetical deal for the Browns and Jones would almost have to include either Landry or Beckham shipping out in return. Jones is both more expensive and older than either of them, and he has no experience with either QB Baker Mayfield or the Browns offensive scheme under head coach Kevin Stefanski and OC Alex Van Pelt. But Jones remains one of the NFL’s preeminent offensive weapons and has a higher ceiling than anyone currently;y catching passes from Mayfield, though with a more finite time period at his age.
Expect to hear a lot of chatter about Jones and any potential interest by the Browns until the Falcons.