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A day of reactions to a blockbuster Julio Jones trade

We’re not the only ones who kinda can’t believe this happened.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Julio Jones is headed to the Titans, and while I understand why it happened and the compensation and the need to not dwell on this forever given that Falcons football is around the corner, it’s going to take a very long time to get used to the idea of #11 suiting up for anyone else.

Maybe you’re more than ready to move on after months of rumors, which I understand, but almost everyone had a reaction somewhere on the “thank goodness that’s over” to “noooooo” spectrum, and we’ve rounded up some of those here.

The trade hit earlier today, and we learned the Falcons got a 2nd in 2022 and a 2023 4th round pick in exchange for Julio and a 6th rounder in 2023.

Arthur Blank, the Falcons owner who once spoke of Julio Jones being “a Falcon for life” and is probably pretty downbeat about how this all went, released a statement thanking Jones for everything he did in Atlanta.

“Julio Jones will always be part of the Falcons story, having set numerous records and creating many great memories for all our fans, including me, since the day we drafted him. He has been a fixture on our team for almost half the time I have owned the Falcons. As we both move in another direction, I’m deeply grateful for what Julio has done for our team and what he has meant to our city and, in my mind, he will always be part of the Falcons family. I wish him nothing but the best in Tennessee and throughout his life.”

The Falcons have been preparing for this day for quite some time, obviously.

Obviously, we heard from some of Julio’s teammates who loved the man, including the man who spent the past decade throwing him passes.

Julio gets this kind of praise on the way out because of everything he accomplished, but his quiet public persona and sometimes superhuman feats on the field also made him seem somewhat mythical. It’s been that way forever.

Fans and Falcons analysts who are also fans reacted in a variety of ways, as I mentioned above, from acceptance to extreme sadness.

At least one reporter could not believe the team’s timing. As someone who did not have cell phone reception until two hours after the trade was announced and is very thankful for The Falcoholic team, I sympathize.

Former Falcons and Titans receiver Harry Douglas reminded fans to thank Julio for his decade of work in Atlanta, as well, and said he though the trade was a fair one for both sides.

Yeah, we wonder the same thing, Deion Sanders. We wonder the same thing.

Also a bunch of Titans players are thrilled Julio’s going there, though we doubt anyone is more excited than Tannehill. It is still very weird to me that the Falcons poached Arthur Smith from Atlanta and will get back Julio, and as much as I love Jones, I’m definitely hoping Atlanta’s acquisition works out far better than Tennessee’s. We’re a ways away from knowing whether that’s the case, obviously.

We’ll need a little bit—or maybe a lot longer than that—before we’re completely ready to closer this chapter of Falcons history. We’re all hoping that in the months and years ahead, Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts will kick off a new era that coincides with the one thing the Falcons unfortunately never got while Julio was here: That long overdue Lombardi Trophy.