The Falcons are drawing some interest in trading wide receiver Julio Jones, but probably not for the compensation they’re looking for.
The Rams and Titans have both talked to the Falcons about trading for Jones, according to Mike Garafolo on NFL Network. But Garafolo expressed skepticism that the Falcons would get a first-round pick for Jones, and he said nothing is imminent.
That the Rams are in the mix at all casts doubt on the ESPN report that the Falcons already have an offer on the table of a 2022 first-round pick for Jones. The Rams don’t have a first-round pick in 2022 (or 2023) and they don’t have the cap space to take on Jones’ $15.2 million guaranteed base salary. If the Falcons really had an offer of a 2022 first-round pick from a team willing to take on Jones’ contract, the Rams would have already concluded that the trade is too rich for their blood.
At a time when other teams think the Falcons’ expectations are outlandish, the Rams and Titans may be in the mix not because they’re willing to meet the Falcons’ demands, but because they think no team is going to meet the Falcons’ demands and eventually the Falcons will lower their asking price. That might mean it will be a while before a trade gets done, and that when a trade does get done, the Falcons will end up with less than they were hoping for in exchange for a wide receiver who has been one of the best in the NFL but is now 32 years old and locked in to an expensive contract.