Seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones will likely be playing football for a team other than the Atlanta Falcons in 2021, and rumors concerning an impending trade have heated up in recent days. One team that has reportedly pulled out of the chase for Jones, however, is the Los Angeles Rams.
On Sunday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that a "source with knowledge of the dynamics" says the Rams have pulled out as contenders for acquiring Jones. According to PFT, Mike Garafolo said on the NFL Network that the Rams had spoken to the Falcons about a potential deal, but apparently those talks did not go far. The Falcons are reportedly searching for a first-round pick in return for Jones, and the Rams do not have a first-round pick until 2024. Pairing Jones with the likes of Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and DeSean Jackson for Matthew Stafford to throw to would have been intriguing, but it looks like that will not be coming to fruition.
A trade is unlikely to happen before June 1, according to CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora. A trade post-June 1 would free up Jones' $15.3 million salary in cap space for the Falcons, and they'd suffer only a $7.75 million dead money hit from the prorated signing bonus. On Sunday, ESPN's Dianna Russini also reported that the Seattle Seahawks have had discussions about a potential trade for Jones, and that Russell Wilson and Jones have even spoken to each other about the possibility of playing together. Russini reported on Thursday that the Falcons are mulling offers from teams, and that they even have a future first-round pick on the table. A couple of other teams to keep an eye on are the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans, and a trade could happen any day after that June 1 date.