The LA Chargers are one of the reported favorites to land Julio Jones via our trade and as far as we are concerned, they are the best destination not just for Jones but for the Atlanta Falcons as well.
The fanbase is split on whether or not Jones makes sense for the Chargers. Jones, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, is no longer in his prime but was still on pace to record over 1,300 receiving yards last season after coming just short of 1,400 yards the year prior.
Having him in the offense next to the other elite pass-catching options in Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler would be unfair. Imagine Jones playing outside while Allen can get most of his snaps in the slot? Teams would have their hands full in trying to stop that offense.
There is this common belief among the fans that if the team does add Jones that Mike Williams would no longer be with the team. While Jones would certainly be an upgrade from Williams, who is in the last year of his contract and is likely leaving after this season, that would not be the case whatsoever.
Adding Julio Jones does not lead to getting rid of Mike Williams. The two are not as directly correlated as it seems.
Why the LA Chargers would keep Mike Williams even with a Julio Jones trade:
Let’s break down some common misconceptions. First, there is this belief that the Chargers should trade Williams to Atlanta to sweeten the deal and offset both the extra needed draft capital as well as the salary costs.
That is not going to happen. The entire reason why the Falcons are as willing as they are to trade Jones is their salary-cap situation. Atlanta cannot even sign their rookie draft class right now. The Falcons would save some space with Williams but that space would be directly offset by the dead cap hit absorbed for trading Jones.
Trading him to Atlanta is completely out of the question as it is literally impossible.
There is also the belief that the team could then trade Williams to get back some draft capital as they would be sending capital to Atlanta. That is not going to happen for one simple reason: no team is going to trade anything worth value for Mike Williams.
Williams has a huge salary-cap hit and is only locked up for one more year, and on top of that, is injury-prone. The most a team with cap space is going to be willing to spend is a sixth-round pick, at the very most, and that does not offset anything for the Chargers.
No team is going to trade a third-round pick for Mike Williams if they could have just traded a second and third-round pick for Julio Jones.
I would guess that some team overspends for Mike Williams in free agency next season and he signs for at least $10 million. That would give the Chargers a fifth-round compensatory pick at the very least and it could be a fourth.
So if the LA Chargers do end up pulling the trigger and trade for Julio Jones then expect him to be lining up alongside Mike Williams in 2021.