Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is one of the most dominating players in the NFL today. The fact that he plays for our team of choice makes every day of the year that much better. Without Julio, Flowery Branch would just be a much sadder place.
As much as we'd like to think Julio is immortal, he isn't. There will come a day that he retires or falls out of favor with the franchise. We never thought that day would come for Roddy White, but sure enough, it did. With the recent, unexpected retirement of similarly dominant wide receiver Calvin Johnson, it's natural to wonder about Julio. But if you ask Roger Goodell, these early retirements aren't a trend, only sporadic, random occurrences.
"Well, I disagree with the premise of your question to start with. You're taking those issues and you're combining them. I think each individual player makes his own individual decision about how long they play the game, who they play for, under what conditions they play [and] I don't know what Calvin Johnson is balancing. He's a great player and a great young man, and whatever it is, I support him."
There's certainly reason to doubt anyone that compares Megatron and Julio, including me. But if you've watched Julio play the past couple of years, it's hard not to worry. The Falcons rely heavily, arguably way too much, on Jones. As he goes, so goes the Falcons offense. They'll tape him up and trot him back out there as much as possible, but as he ages, that will become harder and harder.
Julio is 27 years old now, three years younger than Megatron. Julio has five seasons under his belt, four less than Megatron. Maybe we're only scratching the surface on Julio; maybe his best is yet to come. But in my opinion, if the Falcons want to keep some tread on the tires, they urgently need to diversify their offense. Why risk it?