Clayton: Why Seahawks couldn’t offer what Titans did to get Julio Jones

Jun 7, 2021, 12:16 PM
Seahawks Julio Jones Titans...
The Seahawks reportedly had interest in Julio Jones, but he went to Tennessee. (Getty)

Julio Jones won’t be the newest Seahawks wide receiver, but it makes a lot of sense for the Atlanta Falcons to trade Jones to the Tennessee Titans.

Why Darrell Taylor can be ‘perfect fit’ for Seahawks’ defense in ’21

Even though the Falcons didn’t get the first-round pick they sought for Jones, they got good value out of the deal as the Titans checked the boxes for what they wanted. The main prize in Atlanta’s return is a 2022 second-round pick, which carries more value than in most years because of what’s being called the Super Senior option.

The Super Senior option allows college seniors to stay in school for a second senior year in 2021. There were 1,046 players who went back to school. That left the 2021 draft with around 800 players eligible to be taken, much less than any other year.

That’s not all Atlanta got for Jones. Because the Titans add Jones to a lineup that already has wide receivers A.J. Brown and Josh Reynolds and halfback Derrick Henry, their second-round pick that Atlanta now receives could end up in the lower part of the round. As a result, the Titans also threw in a fourth-round pick in 2023. The Falcons gave them back a sixth-round pick in 2023.

It’s doubtful any other team was offering anything higher than a second-rounder to the Falcons for Jones.

Another big item is that the Titans were willing to take on Jones’ entire $15.3 million base salary. The Falcons didn’t have to contribute a dime to let him go in the trade. The Falcons had only $285,000 of salary cap room and couldn’t sign their draft choices if they kept Jones. While they still had to take on $7.75 million of dead money on their 2021 cap, they freed up $7.55 million of cap room.

Based on the deal the Falcons eventually got for Jones, there was no way the Seahawks were going to be in the final mix. Sure, Seattle general manager John Schneider will stay in touch on most deals, but the Seahawks have only $6.8 million of cap room and wouldn’t have been able to take on the $15.3 million guaranteed base. Jones, who is on a $22 million a year contract, certainly wasn’t going to take a paycut, and I’m not even sure if the Seahawks were willing to give up a second-round pick.

The good news for the Seahawks is that Jones is not going to the San Francisco 49ers, their NFC West rival. San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan was Jones’ offensive coordinator during the Falcons’ Super Bowl year, and adding Jones would have made the 49ers’ offense scary.

In a sense, though, you can say Jones will be coming to Seattle. The Titans visit the Seahawks in Week 2.

In other Seahawks news, Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner ended their boycotts and came in for OTAs this week. It was time. Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady was one of the biggest advocates of the OTA boycotts but he showed up last week in Buccaneers headquarters. Now Wilson can start working with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and his new offense in OTAs and minicamp.

Follow John Clayton on Twitter.

Seahawks’ Dissly: TEs will ‘create a lot of problems’ in new offense

John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
  • 710AM ESPN SeattleTune in to 710 ESPN Seattle on Saturday mornings for The John Clayton Show.

The Professor's Notes

John Clayton hosts a daily video breaking down the NFL

John Clayton

Seahawks 49ers...
John Clayton

Clayton: Things don’t look so good for Seahawks against 49ers

The Seahawks have done well against the 49ers in recent years, but John Clayton has a bad feeling about the upcoming matchup.
3 days ago
Seahawks Tyler Lockett...
John Clayton

Clayton: Hard to believe, but struggling Seahawks only getting worse

At 3-8, the Seahawks are only better than one other team in the NFC and are getting less out of their offense than any team in the league.
6 days ago
Seahawks Russell Wilson...
John Clayton

Clayton: Seahawks’ struggling offense has 2 big issues to fix

The NFL has evolved into a game built around red zone success and third down conversions. That’s where the 3-7 Seahawks are in trouble.
8 days ago
Seahawks Bobby Wagner...
John Clayton

Clayton: The Seahawks’ problems that are resulting in a vicious cycle

The Seahawks are stuck in a bad pattern. John Clayton breaks down the issues that have mounted for the struggling 3-7 team.
14 days ago
John Clayton

Clayton: Injuries dominate conversation around Seahawks-Cardinals clash

The leadup to the divisional clash between the Seahawks and Cardinals is filled with injuries to stars on both sides, John Clayton writes.
17 days ago
Seahawks Russell Wilson...
John Clayton

Clayton: Seahawks can’t afford another loss this week after falling to 3-6

The Seahawks could still realistically get to nine wins, but after a shutout loss to the Packers, they need to right the ship quick.
21 days ago
Clayton: Why Seahawks couldn’t offer what Titans did to get Julio Jones