It is June 1 and the odds of a Julio Jones trade occurring have substantially increased. Many are hoping that the LA Chargers are the team that walks away with the future Hall of Famer as they make perfect sense for Jones.
The Falcons’ relationship with Jones seems to be beyond repair and more importantly, the team now frees up more money by moving Jones past the June 1 deadline. According to Over The Cap, the Falcons would free up $15.3 million in cap space by trading Jones.
Because Jones is such a big name and the Falcons do not have much leverage in the situation there have been countless teams named as a potential landing spot, the Chargers being one of the favorites. And with this speculation comes the potential trade return. Will it be a first-round pick, a second-round pick, multiple mid-round picks, a second and a future third? There are plenty of different routes to go.
One route that the Falcons will undoubtedly not go down is the route of acquiring another player in return for Jones. There have been a lot of articles in the NFL world proposing packages that include draft picks and player(s) in return for Jones.
It is extremely unlikely and nearly impossible. The LA Chargers won’t trade a player for Jones, nor will any of the teams that are in on Jones. This trade will be picks exclusive no matter who gets him.
So no, Atlanta has absolutely no interest in Mike Williams.
Why the LA Chargers can’t send a player to the Atlanta Falcons for Julio Jones.
Simple: money. The entire reason why the Falcons are trading Jones is the salary cap and any player that they bring in is only going to add back to the cap. Now, this might not be a problem if the Falcons had more than $337,851 in projected cap space.
That is virtually nothing in the NFL and the Falcons do not even have the room to sign their own draft class, which is the main factor behind this in the first place. Trading Jones opens up the money to sign the draft class.
As mentioned above, the Falcons would save $15.3 million in a trade but that does not give them newfound money to spend. Spotrac estimates the Falcons’ draft class to cost just over $13 million.
If the draft class costs exactly $13 million in cap space, with the $15.3 million the team gets from Jones, the Falcons will have a cool $2.6 million in cap space.
Are there players that could be traded to the Falcons to fit under that $2.6 million? Sure. The Chargers could theoretically trade someone such as Justin Jones, Kyzir White or Nasir Adderley to Atlanta.
But why would the Falcons have any interest in making a move like this? It is not going to reduce the draft cost. Atlanta isn’t going to be willing to replace another mid-round pick with a depth player who is at the end of his rookie deal. They want future capital in picks.
The Falcons are much better off saving any cap space that the team has for in-season moves or to roll over into next year. Throwing a mediocre player into the trade package and expecting that to low the Falcons’ asking price is far-fetched.
This trade is going to look much more like the Antonio Brown trade with only draft picks and not the DeAndre Hopkins trade where Houston mistakenly traded Hopkins for a second-round pick and David Johnson. At least then Houston had the cap space to do it, the Falcons do not.
The team that trades for Julio Jones is going to be the team that offers the most draft capital. Maybe it could be the LA Chargers.