There’s more than a handful of NFL teams who could realistically land Julio Jones in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. Now that the calendar has flipped to June, a trade seems to be imminent. Atlanta could not move off the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver before June 1 due to his contract and salary cap issues.
With things seemingly heating up on this front, the Philadelphia Eagles have reportedly entered the conversation.
“A pair of sources confirmed that Philadelphia is indeed sniffing around the Atlanta Falcons superstar receiver,” Sports Illustrated’s Ed Kracz reported recently. “And, if it happens, wouldn’t that bring some extra juice for the season opener, which happens to be in Atlanta against the Falcons?”
Despite having added reigning Heisman winner DeVonta Smith in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Eagles are in need of more help at wide receiver. Obviously, Julio Jones would be a marked upgrade on this front.
It’s also important to note that Philadelphia boasts at least two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft stemming from separate trades involving Carson Wentz and a blockbuster deal with the Miami Dolphins ahead of the 2021 event.
Jones, 32, will count roughly $15 million against the cap for an acquiring team. He also is said to want a contract extension. Right now, Philadelphia is just $3.21 million under the cap. It would likely have to restructure the contracts of Fletcher Cox and Lane Johnson. While it’s quiet on this front, a trade of Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz would also help matters.
Where we stand with Julio Jones trade rumors
- Within league circles, the San Francisco 49ers have been talked about the most as it relates to acquiring Jones. It makes sense given his relationship with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan dating back to their days together in Atlanta. If the Falcons settle on a second-round pick, San Francisco might be the best fit.
- Another report notes that the Falcons might settle on a second rounder if an acquiring team picks up all of Jones’ contract. If not, Atlanta wants a first-round pick for the future Hall of Fame receiver. Said report indicated that the Tennessee Titans are favored to land the star receiver.
- In addition to the Titans, Eagles and 49ers, there’s a ton of other teams in on Jones. That includes the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots. Previously said to be interested in Julio Jones, the Los Angeles Rams have since backed off.
The 32-year-old Jones is coming off a 2020 season that saw him miss nine games to injury. Clearly in the back end of his prime and boasting a huge contract, any team that acquires the stud pass-catcher would be taking on a risk. That’s only magnified by the fact that he’s looking for an extension.
With that said, an extension could work out favorably for the team that acquires Jones. It would lower his cap number in 2021 while adding money on to the deal in 2022 when the cap is set to increase significantly. This is important to note in that teams interested in acquiring Julio Jones are not in a great cap situation right now.
- New England Patriots: $20.18 million
- San Francisco 49ers: $17.43 million
- Arizona Cardinals: $13.23 million
- Seattle Seahawks: $4.73 million
- Tennessee Titans: $3.63 million
- Philadelphia Eagles: $3.21 million
We’ll obviously have more updates on the Julio Jones situation as news breaks and a trade takes place in the near future.