The Atlanta Falcons had trade talks involving star wide receiver Julio Jones before the 2021 NFL Draft, but they wanted a first-round pick for his services. According to PFT’s Mike Florio, the Falcons could have agreed to deal Jones before the draft for a second-round pick while also not having to pay any of his $15.3 million salary.
Now, though, Atlanta might be lucky to get a second-round pick. In order to get one, the Falcons might just have to pay some of Jones’ salary. By holding out until after the draft, it looks like they’ll wind up getting a worse deal. A number of teams in need of wide receiver help used the draft to upgrade at that position.
It was common knowledge heading into this week that Atlanta was looking to move Jones, but the situation really blew up when the star wide receiver said on live television he’s done with the franchise. It soon came out after that spectacle with Shannon Sharpe that Jones had actually requested a trade before the draft, hence the trade talks.
The Falcons were hoping to work out a deal before the draft that would become official after June 1 because of the cap situation. The trade would have involved a 2022 pick at the earliest.
That obviously didn’t happen, and now Atlanta is hoping to get something of decent value for the 32-year-old star. The Falcons got a second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu, who’s obviously not as good as Jones. But this situation is unique, and the market doesn’t appear to be all that hot.
Jones reportedly has the most interest in a trade to the Tennessee Titans or New England Patriots. When healthy, he’s still one of the best receives in the NFL, but he missed seven games last season due to injuries.