Julio Jones Trade Rumors: Falcons Would Accept 'Hard' 2nd-Round Draft Pick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 31, 2021

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 06: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons warms-up prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 06, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A second-round pick might be enough to snag Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons.

NBC Sports' Peter King reported the Falcons are looking for a trade in which they wouldn't be on the hook for any of the $38 million he's still owed in base salaries.

"I was told a while ago by a source I trust that the Falcons would accept a hard second-round pick in 2022 (no condition on Jones’ playing time) with no responsibility to pay Jones any of the $38 million he has coming," King wrote.

ESPN's Dianna Russini reported at least one team has included a 2022 first-rounder in a trade package for the seven-time Pro Bowler. King spoke to a general manager, however, who questioned whether if that was an option for the Falcons right now.

"If Atlanta had that offer, they’d have made the deal and just said we’ll announce it next week," the GM said.

King's report also aligns somewhat with what Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported Sunday. Florio reported some around the NFL believe the Tennessee Titans will send a second-round pick to Atlanta for Jones.

At this point, Jones' exit feels inevitable. Whether he was aware he was speaking publicly on cable television, there's probably no going back after he left no doubt on Undisputed about his desire to leave.

The 32-year-old's contract situation might be complicating matters somewhat slightly. He counts for $19.3 million in both 2022 and 2023, and his $22 million average salary is already the second-highest for a wide receiver, and he might soon be looking for one last big payday.

The aforementioned Titans, for example, don't have the $15.3 million in salary cap space—just $3.6 million—to assume all of his guaranteed money right now.

According to Russini, the Seattle Seahawks have also weighed a move for Jones, with him and Russell Wilson already talking about a potential collaboration. Like the Titans, the Seahawks would need to free up a lot of cash since they have just $4.7 million in cap space.

Giving up a second-round pick for a wideout who was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-2010s team is a no-brainer. When healthy, Jones has been one of the most consistent and productive pass-catchers in the NFL.

But that second-rounder isn't the only cost that would be associated with a move for him this offseason.