Patriots fans dreaming of seeing Julio Jones in New England got more good news Thursday morning.
Jeff Schultz of The Athletic published a detailed report on the persistent trade speculation surrounding the superstar receiver. He said the Falcons, whose salary cap situation currently is brutal, “would like” to move Jones, preferable after June 1. Schultz added that Atlanta’s desire to trade the 32-year-old does not guarantee a deal will happen.
In one section of the piece Schultz identified the Patriots — a frequently named team since the Jones trade chatter began a few months ago — among six potential destinations. You can read the full excerpt below.
Many teams would like Jones on their roster, but not many realistically can trade for him. The Falcons’ hope is that enough teams (think: three to five) express interest to create a market. Think of 1) teams with enough cap space to absorb Jones’ $15.3 million base salary; 2) contending teams that believe he would put them over the top; 3) young teams looking to take the next step. Among the teams that could fall into these categories: Ravens, 49ers, Patriots, Colts and Chargers. One league source said the Titans also may show interest, but they also are close to the cap ceiling.
The Falcons likely will be seeking draft-pick compensation. A first-rounder seems unlikely.
Schultz also offered this context on the Chargers:
Whether Jones eventually gets traded is anyone’s guess.
However, you can bet the speculation will reach an all-time high once June arrives.