Chicago Bears: Could new rumors make a Julio Jones trade possible?

Chicago Bears - Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 4
Chicago Bears, Julio Jones
Chicago Bears – Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /

Can the Chicago Bears afford to take on the contract of Julio Jones?

Here is the kicker. If it was just a second-round draft pick, every team in the NFL that has one in 2022 would be involved in trading for Julio Jones. Unfortunately, and most likely why the Chicago Bears have not been linked in any trade rumors for Jones, his contract makes things more difficult.

The Chicago Bears have the second-least amount of salary cap space available to them. This will change for a brief second on June 2, 2021, when Charles Leno’s contract comes off the books. However, the savings from cutting Leno is literally going to give the Bears the ability to sign their 2021 draft picks and that’s about it.

The team would still need to find nearly the full $15.3 million in base salary owed to Julio Jones this season. The team could make this happen, but it would cost them. Akiem Hicks for one would likely have to be cut or traded. Cutting Hicks would save the Chicago Bears $10.5 million. The next cut would likely have to be Jimmy Graham. Cutting Graham would save the team another $7 million. This would give the Bears enough to cover Julio Jones’ contract, but does it improve the roster?

Another option here is extending Allen Robinson. However, backloading his contract would only cause problems as he, Khalil Mack and now Julio Jones would account for plenty of salary cap space. However, with Justin Fields being on his rookie contract, the Bears could take another swing at things like they did with Mitch Trubisky’s rookie deal. Therefore, although very unlikely, the Chicago Bears could indeed attempt to trade for Julio Jones.

Next. Projecting the Bears RB stats. dark

I am not confident and still on the fence if I believe Julio Jones without Hicks and Graham makes this team a Super Bowl contender. Most receivers in the 32 to 35 years of age range don’t remain elite. That makes the move very risky. Although it sounds great, I’d rather see the team extend Allen Robinson, keep Hicks and Graham this season, and look to build through the draft. That said, I’m sure I’d find myself excited with a Madden-type trade for Julio Jones should it happen.