TITANS RECEIVE: Julio Jones, 2023 sixth-round pick
FALCONS RECEIVE: 2022 second-round pick, 2023 fourth-round pick
The way I see it, this news benefits the Philadelphia Eagles in multiple ways despite the fact they’re not directly involved in the deal.
1) The Eagles won’t be trading for Julio Jones.
If you’ll recall, the Eagles were said to be “sniffing around” the Jones market. It never felt like they were super serious players for him, though, and for good reason. Sure, acquiring Jones would’ve made the Eagles a better team this year. But the Birds just aren’t all in to win a title in 2021. Trading assets for an aging, injured, and expensive player wasn’t the move. As many of you already acknowledged:
2) The Eagles won’t be facing Julio Jones this year.
Unless it’s an Eagles-Titans Super Bowl, of course. In which case anyone would sign up for that.
The Eagles would’ve seen Jones in Week 1 had he somehow remained in Atlanta. Now they don’t have to worry about dealing with a star who has done more damage against the Eagles than any other non-NFC South team in his career. Jones’ numbers from six games against Philly: 69 targets, 41 receptions, 703 yards (17.2 average), 5 touchdowns.
This isn’t to suggest the Eagles’ season opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will now be a walk in the park. Calvin Ridley is pretty good and Russell Gage was productive for the Falcons last year. Atlanta also selected purported mismatch nightmare and Philly native Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 overall pick.
Still, the Eagles’ first opponent just got worse with Jones leaving town. They’ll take it.
3) The Eagles should be glad to see the Titans get better.
With the Eagles owning a conditional 2022 second-round pick from the Indianapolis Colts due to the Carson Wentz trade, Philly should want Indy to avoid having a really successful season. The Eagles obviously need Wentz to be good enough to not get benched and still meet the playing time thresholds for the pick to convey as a first-round selection (75% of snaps played ... OR ... 70% and Colts make playoffs). But not to the point where the Colts are going on some deep postseason run and that pick ends up in the late 20s or 30s.
Ideally, Wentz plays at least 75% of the snaps and the Colts realistically finish somewhere in the teens of the 2022 NFL Draft order. The Titans improving their roster with the Jones trade could give them a better chance of winning the AFC South and keeping the Colts from that division title.