Why the Denver Broncos should be motivated to trade for Julio Jones

Denver Broncos, Julio Jones trade rumors. Mandatory Credit: John Bazemore/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, Julio Jones trade rumors. Mandatory Credit: John Bazemore/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – DECEMBER 06: Tim Patrick #81 of the Denver Broncos makes a reception for a ten-yard touchdown ahead of defender Bashaud Breeland #21 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the third quarter of a game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 06, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

2. Tim Patrick’s situation

On the fandom side of things, Tim Patrick is one of the easiest guys on the Denver Broncos to root for.

He’s a former undrafted free agent who has defied the odds to come back from a major injury in college, bounce around a few NFL rosters, make his way up from the practice squad, take advantage of opportunities and earn playing time only to get hurt again, earn more opportunities, and finally have a breakout season.

Patrick is a prime example of the “meritocracy” that Vic Fangio has talked about on numerous occasions, and he’s a guy who has really worked hard to establish himself as one of the most underrated receivers in the NFL.

On the business side of things, Tim Patrick’s value will never be higher from an outside team’s perspective. He’s coming off of a huge year, and the Denver Broncos will obviously not just be shoving him to the back of the depth chart, but the return of Courtland Sutton may mean decreased snaps for Patrick.

After signing his restricted free agent tender, Patrick will officially be back with the Denver Broncos for one more season. Given the presence of Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler along with Courtland Sutton also on the last year of his deal, it feels like this could be the last year of Patrick in Denver.

If the Denver Broncos do not plan on retaining Patrick after this year, they could very well look at him as a piece in a potential Julio Jones trade.

Sending Patrick plus a draft pick to the Falcons for Julio Jones could benefit both parties. Jones is under contract for three more years while again, Patrick is only under contract for one.

Patrick would have a chance to be the second option in the passing game in Atlanta with Calvin Ridley and earn a big contract there or somewhere else in 2022.

The difference in salary between Patrick and Jones for the 2021 season is $11.916 million, which the Denver Broncos could easily afford.

Having Julio Jones under contract versus having Tim Patrick for just one more? That benefits the Denver Broncos for more reasons than just Patrick’s situation.