Should Jets pursue Julio Jones trade?

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Julio Jones looks to the side in red Falcons jersey
Julio Jones looks to the side in red Falcons jersey

NFL star WR Julio Jones said it himself on FOX Sports’ Undisputed Monday that he is out of Atlanta this year, confirming the trade rumors that have been swirling around him this offseason.

Could the Jets swoop in and make that trade with the Falcons to land one of the best wideouts in the league?

Or should the better question be this: Would it be smart for GM Joe Douglas to deal away a good chunk of assets to land Jones?

It’s very tempting to want Jones -- a receiver that can virtually do it all at the position and the production speaks for itself. In that Undisputed clip, you can hear Jones say, “I want to win,” which takes a shot at the Falcons' inability to do so even though their offense put up ridiculous scores last season in multiple losses. He’s 32 years old, has reached a Super Bowl and lost, and wants that feeling again so he can accomplish the ultimate feat of any player.

And New York certainly has the assets to get a deal done with four picks in the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft, not to mention picks in 2023, 2024 and so on. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a first-round pick is what the Falcons were asking for from teams inquiring, though the price tag might even be lower considering his age and injury history from last season (he played just nine games). Atlanta is also looking to deal him out of the NFC, making an AFC-based Jets team a better option in their eyes.

But let’s face it: The Jets are not currently a win-now squad. Douglas, head coach Robert Saleh and the rest of the organization are working tirelessly to change that narrative. But with so many question marks on the roster, including the biggest of all in new QB Zach Wilson, it wouldn’t be a thoughtful move to spend draft capital to acquire Jones, no matter how much he upgrades the offense.

Another reason not to salivate over Jones is the fact that Wilson already has solid assets to work with thanks to Douglas. Corey Davis joining the team via free agency serves as the current No. 1 option. His large size, relative to Jones, will make for a solid connection with Wilson. Elijah Moore also going to the Jets in the second round of this year’s draft provides a speedy slot option that has deep ball threat also written on his jersey. And Denzel Mims should have a chip on his shoulder after missing multiple games with injury last season. His potential is still untapped.

Of course, that’s not to say that Jones wouldn’t immediately make the Jets better on paper. He has been one of the greatest receivers of our generation and is still able to awe fans with his speed, strength and catchability any given Sunday.

But using those high picks in later drafts could provide even more solid weapons for New York on rookie contracts that builds the team in the short- and long-term. Plus, what if Jones doesn’t like the fact that the Jets are still rebuilding at the moment? He’s no stranger to headlines regarding his rumored thoughts on the Falcons organization in the past, and with a strict culture vision that Douglas and Saleh both share, he may not be the right fit if he isn’t all-in.

It’s intriguing to picture Jones in the green and white next season. But the draft picks should stay in Douglas’ pocket, as he continues to stay the course with his rebuild that has already has a bright outlook for next season and beyond.