The headline from Jay Glazer is simple. The import is a bit more nuanced.
But the Ravens knew about the contract when they called the Falcons. Thus, the issue isn’t the contract itself; it’s what the Falcons and/or the Jones are willing or unwilling to do with the contract in order to facilitate a trade.
Jones has a fully-guaranteed base salary of $15.3 million in 2021. The Ravens may want the Falcons to pay some of that money. The Panthers, for example, agreed on Wednesday to pay $7 million of the $10 million guarantee owed to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to facilitate a trade for a measly sixth-round pick to the Broncos. The Dolphins a day earlier agreed to pay $6 million of the $9 million owed to offensive lineman Ereck Flowers to grease the skids for a trade to Washington. If the Falcons are motivated to move Jones, they possibly also need to be motivated to pay part of his salary in 2021.
In turn, Jones possibly needs to be willing to adjust his contract. While taking less than $15.3 million for 2021 should be a non-starter since it’s all guaranteed, he could restructure the deal to shrink the cap number this year.
If, of course, he doesn’t want to play for the Ravens or any other team, Jones simply has to say, “No thanks” in response to any request to shrink his cap charge for 2021 — if that’s part of what a new team wants.
Again, the Ravens knew about the Jones contract. The question is whether the Falcons and/or Jones will do whatever the Ravens want or need in order to get it done, with the trade compensation for Jones surely influenced by how much the Falcons will or won’t pay of the $15.3 million. Whether that changes depends on whether another team is willing to accept the terms proposed by the Falcons and/or Jones, and if not whether the Falcons and/or Jones would become more willing to move toward Baltimore’s position.
With the Falcons unable to trade Jones until June 2, there’s time to work it out. The biggest potential impediment is whether an interested suitor addresses its needs at the receiver position tonight, tomorrow, or the next day.