Julio Jones Trade Rumors: 3 Other Teams Were in Mix for WR Before Titans-Falcons Deal

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 7, 2021

AP Photo/Danny Karnik

Three other teams besides the Titans were reportedly involved in trade talks for Julio Jones before the Atlanta Falcons sent him to Tennessee on Sunday.

Peter King of NBC Sports did not name the teams but noted that "none [were] willing to give what Tennessee gave" in trade talks. The Titans sent a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round selection to Atlanta for Jones and a 2023 sixth-round pick, along with taking on the remaining guaranteed money on his contract.

Jones' $15.3 million contract is fully guaranteed for the 2021 season. He carries a base salary of $11.5 million each of the final two years of the deal, only $2 million of which is fully guaranteed.

The Titans may look to restructure Jones' contract to get themselves under the cap. They had only $3.4 million of space before pulling off the trade, meaning they would not have enough room to fit Jones' $15.3 million cap hit. Restructuring deals to make the trade work under the cap is a must; it's just a matter of which deals.

Jones' base salary is below market for a top-10 receiver, but he's 32 and coming off an injury-riddled season. He missed seven games and was hobbled in others, though he remained highly productive when on the field. His 75 percent catch rate was the highest of his 10-year career.

Interested teams still had to determine if they would be paying for Jones' past production or his actual future impact.

The Titans are an interesting fit, in large part because they often utilize a ground-based offense with Derrick Henry. QB Ryan Tannehill's job is one of a highly efficient game manager, and he's played that role to perfection the last two seasons. However, the arrival of Jones and the presence of AJ Brown means he may be expected to air things out more in 2021.


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