Julio Jones Trade
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says the first cracks in the relationship between the Falcons and WR Julio Jones started two years ago when negotiating his current extension. Jones’ team actually told Atlanta while negotiating that deal that if they couldn’t work things out, they wanted to be traded.
- Jones requested a trade again at the beginning of this offseason and the Falcons were receptive given his age, lingering injuries he’s managed and the need to clean up their cap situation.
- According to Breer, the Falcons tried to trade Jones the week of the draft but no team was willing to pony up a first-round pick.
- Breer adds a first-round pick was never offered for Jones and the only time a future first was mentioned was as a part of a pick swap, meaning the Falcons would have had to give back a Day 2 pick.
- The Titans pulled into the lead for Jones, per Breer, because they were the only team that wasn’t asking the Falcons to eat salary as a part of the deal.
- Breer notes the Raiders never got involved due to finances while the Patriots weren’t interested beyond due diligence. The Falcons talked to all four NFC West teams but never got a concrete offer from any.
- He adds the Titans’ initial offer was a third that could become a second.
- NBC Sports’ Peter King reports the market for Jones had thinned considerably, with the Ravens dropping out after the draft and both the Patriots and Seahawks balking at the financial cost to acquire Jones.
- By late last week, King says there were four teams interested and the Titans pushed to the lead of the pack by putting their second-round pick fully on the table.
- According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Titans had the best offer for Jones by far. Rapoport also said the Titans were one of the only teams willing to absorb Jones’ $15.3 million salary.
- According to Peter Schrager, the Chiefs were never in the running for Jones due to the financial aspects that would have come into play.
- NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco is certain the 49ers were interested in Jones but is unsure if a concrete offer was ever made.
- The Athletic’s Jeff Howe believes the Patriots were initially interested in Jones but were either unhappy with the Falcons’ asking price or unwillingness to take on more of his contract so they decided to move on.
- ESPN’s Brady Henderson also mentions Jones’ contract was a big deal in the eyes of the Seahawks. They did not want to restructure any contracts to free up cap room, which could have been for QB Russell Wilson and LB Bobby Wagner.
- Breer mentioned Jones had no idea he was on live television in his explosive ESPN interview a couple of weeks back that really seemed to accelerate trade speculation.
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