What can the Falcons get for Julio Jones?

USA TODAY Sports

Four weeks ago today, the Falcons launched a wafer-thinly-veiled effort to make sure the rest of the league knows that receiver Julio Jones is available to be traded, effective June 2. With news of no specific suitors emerging, the Falcons continue to push the notion that Jones can be had.

The prevailing thought continues to be that the Falcons want a second-round pick. Albert Breer of SI.com reports that the Falcons told inquiring teams (if there actually were any) before the draft that the price was a first-rounder. If that was the real price, the Falcons would have asked for something more than that, in order to provide some room to move.

The reality for the Falcons is that they may have to move even more to get a deal done.

Sure, it seems like the Falcons should get as much or more for Jones than the second-round selection they got for receiver Mohamed Sanu at the 2019 trade deadline. But the presence of a $15.3 million salary, guaranteed for skill, injury, and cap, makes it harder for the Falcons to get a second-round pick — unless they’re willing to pay some of the money due to Jones.

The less the Falcons are willing to pay to facilitate a trade, the less the Falcons will get in trade. The more they’ll pay, the more they’ll get.

As discussed on Monday’s PFT Live, the question becomes whether it’s more important to maximize draft capital or cash/cap space. The Falcons, if they’re simply trying to find someone to take $15.3 million off the books, may have to take a late-round pick. If they want a second-round pick, they may have to pay a large chunk of that salary.

The Panthers, for example, got a sixth-round pick for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater while also paying $7 million of his $10 million guaranteed salary. While the market will be more robust for Jones, the Falcons will need to ask themselves whether they prioritize the best possible pick or the best possible cap outcome.

They also need to hope someone steps up and makes a viable offer. The only team mentioned to date is the Patriots, who reportedly have had “internal discussions” about Jones. As Simms noted this morning, the mention of the P-word could be aimed at getting other teams to say, “Well, if New England is interested, maybe we should be.”

If, in the end, the Falcons want to get the highest possible draft pick for Jones, they may have to keep him through the start of the season and wait for a contending team to perhaps offer more later than it would offer now, if that team believes Jones can be a missing piece to a Super Bowl run. If the goal is to shed cap space, the Falcons may have to take whatever they can get after June 2, and move on.

22 responses to “What can the Falcons get for Julio Jones?

  1. Why are the Falcons trying to trade Jones? Because of his age? Salary? Isn’t he still one of the best WRs?

  2. The Falcons would be delighted with a three that’s a conditional two, based on Jones’ receptions, say 50 as the floor. They’re not getting a one or multiple picks, because potential trading partners know they’re desperate to unload Jones to save a ton of cap space.

  3. NOT MUCH! All the good teams have salary cap problems. I guess that leaves the Lions and Jets!

  4. I remember the line from Moneyball where Billy Beane told David Justice (in the movie) that HE wasn’t paying the player’s salary; rather, the Red Sox were paying it for him. This also reminds me a bit of the Brock Osweiler trade (done to clean up another Texans hiring mess) where the acquiring team was given a high draft pick to take Osweiler off the Texans’ hands.

    This isn’t a good situation for Jones. I hope he comes through it ok.

  5. These places like Bleacher report that seem to think they can get a Stefon Diggs like haul for him need to get a clue… The Athletic had a much more realistic scenarios whtat were basically a conditional 3 that could become a 2 if he stays healthy or a 3 and a player… Even if Atlanta eats a significant portion of the contract, I can’t imagine them getting much more than a Day 2 pick. He’s a future Hall of Famer, but he’s 32 and coming off an injury… Also, if you look at recent HOF or HOF caliber wideouts, not many are productive for more than a year or two after age 32. Moss hit the wall at 32. Fitz and Harrison were productive until age 34. Andre Johnson hit the wall at 32. I don’t see Julio being a Pro Bowler at age 40 like Jerry Rice.

  6. Kudos to the Falcons for trying to get out from under that contract and get something for literally nothing, but jeers to anyone offering anything more than a 7th round pick for Jones without making the Falcons eat half that salary. Receivers don’t generally transition well to new teams. Especially ones that are near the end of their careers.

  7. The problem is he is perpetually injured and doesn’t even practice during the season, he’s always nursing some lower body injury with the trainers off to the side. It would be really cool to see the Chargers go out and get their young QB another big time weapon.

  8. Giants could offer a third plus Slayton if Atl pays Jones salary. They have 2 #3’s next year.

  9. Love to see the Pats pay Jones some of the money they had ear-marked for Jimmy G. since that window seems to have closed. If the Falcons will take a 3rd and N’Keal Harry for Jones and his 15 million cap hit- that’s a great trade for New England. Still not sure why Julio would want to play with us though with our QB situation so in flux.

  10. As a Falcon fan, I can’t believe they drafted Pitts to then trade Julio….at least this year. Trading him cannot be the only way to create cap space. smh

  11. Old, injury prone and expensive. Would give a 4th round pick at most and require Atlanta to pay a chunk of his salary.

  12. Julio Jones is still a weapon, but the “worst case” scenario for getting a team to take a high salary is not Teddy Bridgewater deal between the Panthers and Broncos. Its the Brock Osweiler from Texans to Browns trade.
    Not saying the Falcons will have to give up draft capital (like the Texans did with Osweiler), but they won’t be getting much back in draft capital.

  13. Do people really not know how football works? The only thing the falcons are going to get by trading away a 32 year old julio jones is the cap number off the books! Thats why you make this trade. They will be lucky to get a conditional 6th rounder if he stays healthy.

    If the falcons want to eat 5 million of his salary, then they could most likely get a day 3 pick a 4th rounder (possibly 3rd conditional if he has 1000 yards or plays in 12-14 games)

    No NFL will give up anything more for a 32 year old reciever on the tail-end of his career w an injury history and a huge cap hit the next couple of years!

    IMO hes not going anywhere unless the falcons eat some money

  14. Unless he becomes the 2007 version of Randy Moss this is risky. Having to trade draft capital and take on his huge salary is a big risk with his history of injuries. I think the best thing for everyone is that he just stays in Atlanta. As a Patriots fan I love Cam he has heart but trading for Jones would have made a lot more sense if we still had Brady.

  15. The Falcons don’t want to see Jones for a long time, so AFC seems to be the best place for him. My betting is on Raiders, Chargers or Broncos.

  16. This lame attempt to juice the market by Atlanta will not work. Belichick will sit there stone faced and wait for yet another “Jones” to fall right into his waiting hands.

    “Mac Jones goes deep to Julio Jones for the win (in February).”

  17. Do people really not know how football works?
    =========

    Some fans do.

    These Madden franchise players would make terrible GMs.

  18. Uhhh comparing Julio’s situation with Teddy… that’s like saying your one buddy sold his Mercury Topaz for this much so your other buddy will likely only get around the same deal for his Dodge Viper…

    Anyway, where is Bill O’Brien to trade with when you need him?

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