The buzz continues to swirl. The Seattle Seahawks have recently entered the fray despite a previous report suggesting the Patriots and Tennessee Titans were the two front runners for the two-time All-Pro.
And speaking of the Titans, some industry insiders for some odd reason believe they’ve leapfrogged the Pats in the race for Jones and they’ll only be paying a second-round pick?
How is that even possible?
Did the Patriots just stop talking to the Falcons?
On what planet did Atlanta just decide, “OK, we’ll give him to Tennessee” when there are a number of other teams likely willing to pay a second-rounder (or maybe even a first!) for Jones.
What’s going on with the latest Patriots-Julio Jones trade buzz?
Here’s what Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk wrote:
“In league circles, the current expectation is that, eventually, the Falcons will send Jones to the Titans for a second-round pick.
“The widespread belief that the Titans will get Jones for a second-round pick further undercuts the ESPN report that the Falcons have a 2022 first-round pick on the table for Jones. It’s possible, however, that the ESPN report was incomplete. As one source with knowledge of the dynamics explained it last night, there’s a very good chance that someone has put a 2022 first-round pick on the table in exchange for Jones plus more — possibly as much as a 2022 second-round pick.”
Oh, even more sensible. There’s a “very good chance” there’s a first-round offer on the table? And some expect him to, once again, land with the Titans for cheaper?
At this point, the Titans are the better team than the Patriots. Why would Atlanta not take a second-rounder from a team that’s expected to have a worse record? That would give them a better draft pick.
Also, the Titans have only $3.2 million in cap space remaining, which means it’ll take a lot more work on their end to fit Jones’ $15.3 million base salary for the 2021 season into their plans. It’s not impossible by any means, but the Patriots have over $15 million in cap space and would have to do very little to make it work.
Perhaps the latest report about Jones potentially wanting a new contract has dissuaded teams — the Patriots likely among them — from striking a deal? Possibly, but we don’t know if that’s entirely true. We also don’t know if this buzz is true! But it surely feels misplaced and incomplete.
If Jones is going for a second-rounder and will be on his current three-year contract, there’s no way it should be a foregone conclusion he’s heading to the Titans, especially if the Patriots and Seahawks are very much involved.