The Falcons have found their trade partner to deal receiver Julio Jones.
Multiple reports early Sunday suggested Atlanta would deal the 32-year-old receiver to the Titans. The Falcons and Titans confirmed the trade shortly after news broke. The Falcons will receive a 2022 second-round pick in the NFL Draft as well as a 2023-fourth-rounder. The Titans will also receive a 2023 sixth-rounder.
Because the move came after June 1, it also allowed the Falcons to create more salary cap space on top of unloading Jones’ three-year, $66 million contract. Atlanta’s social media team also tweeted a farewell graphic for the star receiver, who put up 12,896 receiving yards and 60 touchdowns across 10 seasons in Atlanta:
Julio Jones trade details
- Titans get: WR Julio Jones, 2023 sixth-round draft pick
- Falcons get: 2022 second-round draft pick, 2023 fourth-round draft pick
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.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that the Falcons are not picking up any of Jones’ contract for 2021, meaning the Titans inherit it in full. 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.