Clayton: Don’t rule out Seahawks for Julio Jones if asking price is falling
Many thought the Atlanta Falcons would trade disgruntled wide receiver Julio Jones by Wednesday afternoon. It didn’t happen, and nothing is gong to happen Thursday, either.
Although it’s pretty certain Jones will be traded at some point, the deal is moving slower than expected. Sure, Jones is a great wide receiver, a potential Hall of Famer with 11 years of experience and the ability to catch 100 passes in a season. But his $15.3 million salary is holding things up.
The only teams looking at him that can fit his current contract under the salary cap are the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots. You start to get the feeling that teams are cooling on making a fast deal. That’s one of the reasons it’s smart for the Seahawks to stay in conversation with the Falcons. You never know if Jones’ trade value could be discounted to a point that they could make it work.
Though this might be a long-shot, at some point the Falcons might even have to cut Jone. They have only $235,000 of cap room and haven’t even signed any of their draft choices.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider always likes to stay in touch with teams on any trade. You never know. Last week the Falcons were asking for a No. 1 pick for Jones. There was a story leaked that a team offered a No. 1 and cap problems for the Falcons prevented anything from happening last week. They had to wait until June 1 when teams can push salary cap proration in next season.
But with no No. 1 pick apparently being offered this week, Jones and the Falcons wait. There is even the possibility that the asking price could drop below a No. 2 pick because of Jones’ huge base number and the fact that he’s on a $22 million a year contract.
The Baltimore Ravens said they were interested in Jones if he was available for the right price. Apparently, the price wasn’t right. They dropped out of the competition Thursday.
Now there is more pressure on the Falcons to resolve this. Most teams are signing their draft choices before mandatory minicamps end, and the players won’t be around until the end of July. The Falcons have nine draft choices to sign and the clock is ticking. Unless they restructure Jones’ deal, his cap number is holding them hostage.
Jones is 32 years old and has started to accumulate injuries, and don’t expect him to take a paycut. His $15.3 million base salary is guaranteed, which is why the Falcons cutting him would be such a long shot.
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