Atlanta Falcons have offer of a 1st-round pick for Julio Jones, sources say; Tennessee Titans a ‘long shot’


The Atlanta Falcons have discussed several offers for wide receiver Julio Jones, including an offer of a future first-round draft pick, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

Atlanta has asked teams that have inquired about Jones for a first-round draft pick in return, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.

While Atlanta has had discussions with Tennessee, a source described the Titans‘ chances of landing Jones as a “long shot,” a source told Russini.

Titans players Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown expressed, on social media, their interest in having Jones as a teammate. On Wednesday, Brown posted a TikTok video to Jones explaining why the Titans would be the perfect fit for the star receiver.

The rumor mill around Jones began last month when general manager Terry Fontenot told reporters his team would be taking calls about the All-Pro receiver. Then, on Monday, Jones said “I’m outta there,” when asked about the Falcons in a telephone call with FS1’s Shannon Sharpe on the network’s “Undisputed” show. It is unclear whether Jones knew the phone call was being televised.

Jones, 32, requested a trade from the Falcons at the beginning of the offseason in March, but the organization was trying to protect him and work quietly behind the scenes, a source told Schefter, and has been talking to other teams for weeks. The Falcons prefer not to trade him in the NFC but would do so for the right price, the source said.

It is likely that Jones will not be traded until after June 1 because of the salary-cap benefits for the Falcons. Jones, whose base salary of $15.3 million is fully guaranteed for this season, is scheduled to cost the Falcons $23.05 million against the cap in 2021 and has cap hits of $19.263 million in 2022 and 2023. If the Falcons move Jones after June 1, the move would offer Atlanta relief against the cap this season because the dead money owed to him would be split between this season and next.

Jones has played 10 seasons with the Falcons, who selected him at No. 6 in the 2011 draft, leading the NFL in receiving twice (1,871 yards in 2015 and 1,677 yards in 2018). He made seven Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro in 2015 and 2016. Jones, though, had one of his worst seasons in 2020, being limited to nine games due to injury with 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns. While his 15.1 yards per catch was his highest average since 2017 and his catch percentage of 75% was the best of his career, his 85.7 yards per game was his lowest since 2012, his second year in the league.

ESPN’s Michael Rothstein contributed to this report.





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