Another horse has entered the race for Julio Jones. The Atlanta Falcons have been taking calls and/or shopping the future Hall of Fame receiver for weeks now -- if not months -- and reportedly have several offers on the table, varying from a first-round pick to rumors of a second-rounder, but they've not pulled the trigger on any just yet. That's apparently given the Seattle Seahawks time to seriously consider sending over an offer themselves, and the team has reportedly had discussions about doing so -- per Dianna Russini of ESPN. Additionally, the level of interest in Seattle is rumored to have grown to the point where Russell Wilson, once wildly disgruntled this offseason, has had behind-the-scenes conversations with Jones about possibly joining the Seahawks.
A trade of Jones could happen any day now (or not at all), but if the Falcons do pull the trigger, they're unlikely to do so before June 1 -- via CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora. This makes perfect sense considering making a trade post-June 1 would keep his $15.3 million salary for 2021 in their pocket as cap savings, and they'd suffer only the $7.75 million dead money hit from the prorated signing bonus. Should they trade him pre-June 1, however, they'd lose $200,000 against their cap after a dead money hit of $23.25 million.
As far as the added interest from the Seahawks goes, it can only help the Falcons in regards to their asking price, considering Jones also has interest from the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans (and likely several more clubs). The 32-year-old is said to have a strong interest in joining Cam Newton and Bill Belichick, which is said to be mutual, and that's fueled internal discussions in New England as well. And then there are the Titans, who have recently seen star receiver A.J. Brown continually lobby Jones to move his talents to Nashville. Time will tell who ultimately gets their way, considering it's the Falcons call in the end, despite Jones recently making it clear he's "outta there" -- when asked about his status in Atlanta.
Should they send Jones to the Seahawks, Wilson's ruffled feathers would be further smoothed, considering the recent extension on All-Pro wideout Tyler Lockett and the presence of a dominant complementary piece in D.K. Metcalf. It would make for a dynamic trio of receiving talent -- an embarrassment of riches, to say the least -- for Wilson, who wanted a voice in roster-building and has seemingly taken to that role in communicating directly with Jones. For the Falcons, it seems inevitable that the road will soon end in their relationship with one of the best receivers to ever play the game, and it's one Matt Ryan isn't exactly pleased about.
But his loss might be Wilson's gain, assuming the Seahawks make the best offer.