On Julio Jones, Arthur Blank finally blinked

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons
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Billionaires always get whatever they want. Almost.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank wanted a first-round pick for receiver Julio Jones. He isn’t getting one.

The Titans, as expected in league circles a week ago, are getting Jones for a second-round pick. It looks like the compromise will be an extra late-round pick or a flip-flopping of selections, like the Falcons did when sending a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick to the Ravens for tight end Hayden Hurst and a fourth-round pick.

But it’s not a first-round pick. Yes, ESPN reported at one point that a first-round pick was on the table. What wasn’t reported at the time was that the Falcons would have sent both Jones and as much as a second-round pick to the team that put a first-round pick on the table.

Blank was holding out for a first-round pick because the Falcons got a second-round pick for receiver Mohamed Sanu and, as noted above, gave up a second-round pick for Hurst.

What’s being overlooked by those who are wondering why some other team didn’t trump Tennessee’s offer is that Jones comes to town with a $15.3 million guaranteed salary for 2021 (unless Atlanta is paying some of it, which it had been refusing to do). Jones also will want a new contract, either now or after the 2021 season.

With $38.326 million owed to Jones over the next three years, that’s $12.77 million annually. And that’s less than half of the top of the market.

While Jones may have to re-establish himself before cashing in, he definitely will be looking to do so. The Titans need to be ready for that possibility. With receiver A.J. Brown eligible for a new contract after the 2021 season, the Titans may have to a pair of receivers looking for big paydays.

Regardless, they now have Jones and Brown and quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry. The 2019 AFC finalist needs to be taken even more seriously in 2021.

22 responses to “On Julio Jones, Arthur Blank finally blinked

  1. The most dominant athlete in an Atlanta uniform since Dominique Wilkins. Thanks for the memories, Jet Jones. That catch near the end of SB 51 sealed a championship for us. It wasn’t your fault the bungling coaches tossed it away.

  2. They might have planned on getting a second round pick from the beginning, but they realized if they asked for a first, they’d probably get what they wanted. If they asked for a second, they’d probably be offered a third. Nobody begins a negotiation by asking for what they actually believe they can get. Atlanta probably is coming to grips with the fact that they need to start re-building. They’ve gone as far as they’re going to go with Matt Ryan. Ryan is no longer in his prime. Just like Eli Manning’s last couple years. The tape doesn’t lie. Sometimes these old QB’s need to be replaced, but the owner often talks to his business people about these moves, more than he talks to his football people. It’s not an easy call with a popular QB.

  3. Blank didn’t blink one bit. He’s a multi billionaire and a co-founder of Home Depot.

    Jones is old. The Titans got screwed.

  4. Regardless, it was clear the relationship was done. The Falcons get a decent pick to add to their arsenal for ’22, and the Titans get WR who can still ball when healthy. Sad to see Julio go, but hopefully Pitts can fill that void.

  5. Does anyone else remember the look on Blank’s face at the end of the Super Bowl OT loss to the Patriots? That’s the same broken look on his face today. 3-28.

  6. I don’t get it.

    So now, Atlanta only has Ridley and Patterson as WRs. Are they trying to win next year’s draft?

  7. Looks like there is a new favorite team in the AFC South, move over Indianapolis.

  8. The Falcons have done well to rid themselves of an aging, injury prone, overpaid WR who had become a malcontent in their organization.

  9. Who will Tenn cut or tick off to accomodate this and dig themselves deeper with thr top heavy contracts of Tannehill, Henry and now Jones?


  10. So Blank throws money at gimpy Todd Gurley, keeps Old Man Ryan and dumps his most productive receiver for a second-round pick? Nice work, Artie. Keep it up, old chap.

  11. In a very real sense, I like the trade. Jones gets a new start. Atlanta rids itself of a huge salary and cap drain. Tennessee gets, potentially, a very good receiver for a couple of years. I do think Tennessee is taking a chance on how productive and available Jones will be this year.

    I know this is a “what can you do for me today?” league – still, the man was a class act for almost a full decade, and one of the best at his position for that time. I wish all parties well.

  12. radar8 says:
    June 6, 2021 at 12:45 pm
    I don’t get it.

    So now, Atlanta only has Ridley and Patterson as WRs. Are they trying to win next year’s draft?

    Do you live under a rock? They just drafted a 6’6 receiver with the fourth overall pick.

  13. Julio Jones is a beast, but a receiver has never put a team over the top and won’t this time either. What has changed for Tennessee?

  14. This is a great deal for the Falcons! He wanted out, they got him out. Great player for a while but time has come to move on from him.

  15. Too rich for my Pats. With the QB situation in flux, they put off adding a WR to 2022. Maybe Treylon Burks, the speedy 6’3″ 232lb WR that run blocks like a tight end, and still makes plays on the outside. That may be a good fit since the Pats have zigged to Bully Ball while the league zags to undersized speedy LB’s. Or one of the Ohio State WR’s. Tennessee may have to pay AJ Brown and Julio with new mega deals in 2022 so this may all blow up on them. They are in a window though, so maybe it works out for them short term.

  16. Falcons got the better of this deal, IMO. Jones is an old man with declining speed/skills, increasing injuries, and a huge contract.

  17. cueghost says:
    June 6, 2021 at 12:53 pm
    The Falcons have done well to rid themselves of an aging, injury prone, overpaid WR who had become a malcontent in their organization.
    Is it because he was hurt last season that he is now injury prone? Before that, he missed 4 games across 6 seasons. He still finished top 3 in receiving yards in any of those seasons.

  18. In the same paragraph, you say teams didn’t want him because of his high salary, but also his salary is too low so he will want a new contract?

  19. It’s a great move for Jones. He knew that Atlanta wasn’t going anywhere. He might getting up in age but he still has it.

    Atlanta isn’t going anywhere except on a downward spiral. It would take more than a miracle to turn than team around.

    Atlanta is what Cleveland used to be the worse team in the league. I believe that Detroit and the Jets are more talented now, and that’s bad.

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