Falcons Name Price for Patriots Trade Target Julio Jones: Report

Getty Julio Jones

The Atlanta Falcons have reportedly named their price for a potential trade of Julio Jones, and the New England Patriots are considered one of the favorites to land him.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Falcons “prefer not to trade” their star, but because he has publicly expressed his desire to be moved, Atlanta may be heading in that direction.

According to Schefter, sources said the Falcons are asking for a first-round pick. 

However, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer suggested that the request is optimistic and that the team will likely be willing to deal the future Hall-of-Famer for a second-round selection.

According to Michael Holley of NBC Sports Boston, Jones has said he wants to play with Cam Newton, and the Patriots are one of the few teams with the combination of cap space and available draft assets to swing the deal. Despite signing Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor in the offseason, the wide receiver position could still use some upgrades. 

Patriots Being Strongly Advised to Pursue the Deal

It is hard to find anyone who covers the Patriots regularly who isn’t advising the team to make a hard run at acquiring Jones.

USA Today’s Henry McKenna broke down his reasoning for the Patriots going all-in on a “unique opportunity”:

I think it comes down to a unique opportunity to acquire a special player at a moment where he might cost less than he should, both in assets to acquire him and in finances in keeping him over 3 years.

2021: $15.3M (guaranteed)
2022: $11.513 ($2M guaranteed now)
2023: $11.513M

Even current Patriots players are getting in on the pro-Jones social media talk. Recently re-acquired offensive lineman Trent Brown tweeted at Jones: “Come be a PATRIOT.”

Jones’ fellow Alabama alum Damien Harris tweeted the eye emojis at Bleacher Report’s tweet about the Patriots having internal conversations about trading for star wide receiver.

Acquiring Jones Would Change the Outlook on 2021 Season

A trade for Jones won’t happen before June 2, per Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, though the terms could be agreed to at any time. The Falcons won’t save the necessary cap room by completing a deal before.

If the Patriots manage to trade for Jones, a promisingly rebuilt roster will elevate to one that may push the Buffalo Bills for favorite status in the AFC East. Many still question Newton’s ability to deliver the ball accurately, but that concern is probably a bit overblown.

However, almost no one disputes the strength of the offensive line, the team’s run game, and the potential effectiveness of their newly acquired tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry.

When you group that with a completely retooled and rather deep depth chart on the defensive side of the ball, we’re potentially looking at a roster that could be put over the top by the acquisition of Jones.

If all that is standing in the way of making that roster a reality is a second-round pick and perhaps a later-round selection in a different year, the Patriots would be foolish not to make the phone call.

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