Old and expensive is a tough way to go in life, particularly in the NFL. The Falcons are trying to move Julio Jones as a method of clearing up cap space, and Albert Breer digs in to past trades to try and predict value for Jones.
Breer looks at the last three years to find the 11 non quarterbacks that have fetched first round picks.
“So that’s one guy at 22, one guy at 27, four at 24, two at 25, and three at 26, which means Jones would be five years older than the next oldest player to be dealt for a 1,” writes Breer.
Jones has three years and $43M remaining on his deal. Considering he saw nearly $50M of this contract in the first two years with the Falcons, he’s unlikely to see the final year(s) of this particular contract. So it’s been difficult to find a trade partner willing to give the Falcons what they want (a first round pick) and has the cap space to do the deal.
Breer thinks the Titans can put together the best package for Jones.
“All of this said,” writes Breer. “I’d say the Titans make the most sense for Jones. GM Jon Robinson has been unafraid to trade for veteran players in the past (Jadeveon Clowney was a good example), and the departure of Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith to the AFC East leaves a void that Jones could very easily fill.
Also, while the Titans are sitting at around $4 million in cap space, Ryan Tannehill has a sizable base for 2021 ($24.5 million), over $23 million of which could swiftly be converted into a signing bonus to create room for Jones. Here’s the other thing—Tennessee’s core is in a window to contend now.”
Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown has been very vocal about wanting Jones to join him in Tennessee including this viral recruiting pitch.
The Falcons were never going to move Julio Jones before June 1st, because this is the day they can spread his dead cap money across two years instead of one. They’ll want to get a deal done quickly so they can sign their draft class including Jones’ presumed replacement in Kyle Pitts.