Florio explains that this doesn’t mean that Tennessee has offered Atlanta a second-round pick or that they will accept a second-rounder for Jones. This is just the expectation of the sources he’s spoken with around the league.
One recent report mentioned that the Falcons have a first-round pick on the table for Jones. However, Florio believes this could be a first-round pick for Jones and draft compensation, possibly a second-round pick.
Florio adds that he isn’t ruling out the Patriots making a last-second play for Jones.
Mike Garafolo reported earlier that he doesn’t think it will be a “clean” first-round pick heading back to the Falcons for Jones and it’s more likely to include Atlanta including picks of their own to reduce the overall value of the draft to something in the second-round range.
The 49ers, Titans, Patriots, Rams and Ravens have all been linked to Jones in recent days.
Jones’ $15.3 million base salary for 2021 is a major obstacle for any interested teams to take on. That had led to some speculation the Falcons would be fortunate to get a second-round pick back for Jones. However, these situations are always fluid and this report makes it clear things have shifted to the benefit of Atlanta.
Atlanta must wait until after June 1 to officially trade Jones due to salary cap reasons.
According to Over The Cap, the Falcons would incur a dead money hit of $23.25 million for trading Jones before June 1, but only $7.75 million in dead money for a trade after that date, as well as $15.3 million in cap savings.
Jones, 32, is a former first-round pick of the Falcons back in 2011. He was in the fifth year of his six-year, $81.432 million contract that includes $47 million guaranteed when he agreed to a three-year, $66 million fully guaranteed contract extension in 2019.
In 2020, Jones appeared in nine games for the Falcons and caught 51 passes for 771 yards receiving and three touchdowns.
We’ll have more on Jones as the news is available.