While the Hawks continue to take calls from teams interested in trading for Julio Jones, the Seahawks have been holding discussions over a possible deal with Atlanta for the broader audience, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.
Russell Wilson and Jones, Seahawks quarterback, were in touch and had phone calls to discuss the possibility of a game together, Russini reported.
Seattle already has a talented wide receiver corps led by DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who each had 10 touchdown receptions and more than 1,000 yards last season.
Sources told Russini Thursday that the Hawks have an offer on the table for a future round one draft for Jones. Atlanta has asked teams that inquired about Jones to make a selection for the first round, sources said Adam Schefter of ESPN last Monday.
The Seahawks have no first round choice in 2022 after sending them to the New York Jets last year to purchase Jamal Adams’ safety.
The Jones rumor mill started last month when general manager Terry Fontenot told reporters his team was taking calls about the All-Pro receiver. Then, on Monday, Jones said, “I’m out there” when asked about the Falcons in a phone call to FS1’s Shannon Sharpe on the network’s “Undisputed” show. It’s unclear whether Jones knew the call was televised.
32-year-old Jones filed a trade with the Falcons at the start of the off-season in March, but the organization tried to protect him and work quietly behind the scenes, a source told Schefter, and has spoken with other teams for weeks. The hawks prefer not to trade it with the NFC but would do so at the right price, the source said.
The Tennessee Titans also discussed a deal with the Falcons, but a source described the Titans’ chances of landing Jones as a “long shot” for Russini on Thursday.
It’s likely that Jones won’t start trading until after June 1st due to the salary caps for the Hawks. Jones, whose base salary of $ 15.3 million is fully guaranteed for this season, is set to cost the Falcons $ 23.05 million against the cap in 2021 and has caps of $ 19.263 million in 2022 and 2023. If the Falcons Jones move after June 1, the move would bring Atlanta relief against the cap this season as the dead money owed him would be split between this season and the next.
ESPN’s Michael Rothstein contributed to this report.