The Falcons have reportedly found their trade partner to deal receiver Julio Jones.
According to multiple reports, Atlanta will deal the 32-year-old receiver to the Titans, though compensation is currently being worked out. NFL insdider Ian Rapoport reported Atlanta will get two draft picks in return: a 2022 second-rounder and 2023 fourth-rounder. It’s a move that gives Tennessee yet another big-play threat for quarterback Ryan Tannehill and allows the Falcons to offload Jones’ massive contract.
The move is not yet official, with ESPN’s Dianna Russini reporting the deal will become official in the nexts 24-48 hours.
Julio Jones trade details
The Titans were among the favorites to land Jones’ services, as he reportedly wanted to go to a team that is able to win now: Tennessee made the 2020 AFC Championship game and went 11-5 in the 2020 regular season. The move also makes sense inasmuch the Titans moved on from pass-catchers Corey Davis (Jets), Jonnu Smith (Patriots) and Adam Humphries (Washington), who accounted for 192 targets in 2020.
That said, Jones is owed a $15.3 million salary for 2021, with a $23 million cap hit. Tennessee has an estimated $5.2 million in cap space according to Spotrac, so the team will need to adjust some of its current players’ contracts to make room for the seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro receiver. A likely candidate for a restructured contract is Tannehill, who with a restructured contract could give the Titans close to $20 million in cap space.
The move also gives the Titans one of the most physically imposing receiver duos in the NFL; Jones will line up alongside A.J. Brown, who publicly pitched the Titans to Jones. The Titans also have running back Derrick Henry to keep teams from selling out to stop the receiving pair.
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