It was no coincidence that multiple reports emerged only three days before the draft suggesting that Falcons receiver Julio Jones could be traded. It quickly became obvious that the Falcons would like to make Jones a post-June 1 transaction.
Jeff Schultz of TheAthletic.com takes a closer look at the various factors relevant to the effort to send the veteran wideout to a new team.
The most important dynamic, in our view, is this: Jones has a fully-guaranteed salary of $15.3 million in 2021. The Falcons want to dump that salary. The team that would be taking on the Jones contract knows it. The Falcons undoubtedly will have to pay some of that money, especially if they remain intent on getting the same second-round pick for Jones that they got two years ago for Mohamed Sanu.
The less the Falcons pay, the less they’ll get by way of draft-pick compensation.
The Falcons definitely seem ready to move on from Jones. The challenge becomes finding a trade partner who’s willing to commit the cash, cap space, and draft picks necessary to make the deal happen.
Then there’s the question of whether the team to which Jones would be traded is a team for which he wants to play. What if he wants a new contract? What if he’s not happy with the quarterback or the offense he’ll be joining?
These are all relevant considerations, and it could make it hard for the Falcons to find a suitor — unless they can find multiple teams willing to engage in a tug-of-war for Jones.