Julio Jones Trade Rumors: Falcons 'Absolutely Not' Moving WR After Eagles Buzz

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2020

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 22: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons looks on during the first half of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

No, the Atlanta Falcons aren't trading Julio Jones to the Philadelphia Eagles

Despite that rumor floating around social media, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that a "league source with knowledge of the situation" said Jones to the Eagles was "absolutely not" happening.

Florio added: "And for good reason. Based on the contract Jones signed last year with the Falcons, which pays him $22 million per year, the Falcons would take a cap charge of $31 million to trade Jones."

It would make little sense for the Falcons to part ways with Jones just one year after signing him to a huge three-year, $66 million extension. The 31-year-old remains arguably the best wideout in football, posting 99 receptions for 1,394 yards and six touchdowns last season. 

Jones has now posted at least 80 receptions in six straight campaigns, over 1,000 yards seven times in his career (and six years in a row) and eight or more touchdowns four times. He's a seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro selection. 

So unless Jones wants out and tries to force a trade or the Falcons decide to do a full rebuild, he isn't going anywhere. 

The Eagles part of the equation would make more sense, however, given their need to upgrade at the position.

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DeSean Jackson is 33 and missed the large majority of the 2019 season because of injuries. Alshon Jeffery is 30, missed six games because of injury last year and wasn't great when he did play (43 receptions for 490 yards and four scores), making him a candidate to be released. Nelson Agholor is a free agent and dropped so many key passes last year he became a meme

That leaves Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, decent enough depth options but hardly elite players.

The former emerged as a reliable target for Carson Wentz late in the 2019 season after being a practice squad player, earning his keep as a potential slot option going forward. The latter was a 2019 second-round pick and had a disappointing rookie season, catching just 10 passes for 169 yards and a score. 

It's an uninspiring group, even if Jackson returns healthy and gives Wentz a deep threat. The Eagles could prioritize the position at the draft given the deep class of receivers available. 

Just don't expect them to land a player of Jones' caliber via a trade. That ship probably sailed once DeAndre Hopkins was dealt to Arizona, despite the Eagles having interest, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter on 97.5 The Fanatic.