JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Too many factors working against Seahawks trade for Julio Jones

Jun 2, 2021, 8:16 AM
Seahawks WR Julio Jones...
Julio Jones would be the Seahawks' second-highest-paid player if traded to Seattle. (Getty)
(Getty)

So the Seahawks have been in contact with the Atlanta Falcons about a possible Julio Jones trade.

Rost: Reasons why Hawks should – and shouldn’t – trade for Julio Jones

Don’t hold your breath. The numbers don’t work. Russell Wilson may have called to see if it could work, but it really doesn’t even though Jones is one of the league’s best receivers.

First, the Seahawks have only $6.878 million of cap room. Jones’ base salary is $15.3 million. Sure, he can rework his contract like Gabe Jackson did before he came to Seattle, but it’s unlikely he will take a pay cut.

Jones is on a $22 million a year contract. He would come to Seattle as the Seahawks’ second-highest-paid player. That might not go over well with Tyler Lockett, who just signed a $17 million-plus contract. And getting Jones at that contract could make DK Metcalf ask for much more than $22 million when he can start talking about an extension next year.

The other issue is what a Jones trade would mean to rookie D’Wayne Eskridge. The best he could hope for this season if Jones is on the roster is being the team’s No. 4 receiver. That would almost make it seem the Seahawks wasted a second-round pick.

One thing Seahawks general manager John Schneider does is keep in contact on most trade possibilities. It gives him knowledge of the market for players. In this case, it’s important because the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams have all also checked in Jones. The Rams don’t have the cap room to make it work. Arizona already made a big trade for a wide receiver last year for DeAndre Hopkins. Plus they would have to clear cap room to make the trade.

It sounds as though Jones is going to net a second-round pick for the Falcons. If the Seahawks make that trade, they wouldn’t have a pick until the third round next year. They don’t have a first-rounder because of the Jamal Adams trade with the New York Jets. And by the way, adding Jones might limit their chances of getting a long-term deal for Adams.

Things could move quickly, though. The 49ers have enough cap room to make the trade. They definitely have interest. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was the Falcons’ play-caller in their Super Bowl year in 2016, and the 49ers could use his talent at receiver. Imagine Jones with George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Scary.

But also remember San Francisco doesn’t have a first-round pick in the next two years and will be competing with Baltimore, Tennessee and New England as teams interested in Jones.

Wednesday is the conversation day for teams to make deals or releases in which they can push off salary cap pro-rations into next year. During the offseason until June 1, teams have to take those cap hits all in this season.

Stay tuned. Things happen pretty quickly on the Jones front.

Follow John Clayton on Twitter.

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