Ravens: Examining one potential trade offer for Julio Jones

Ravens, Julio Jones Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Julio Jones Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens continue to be connected to rumors of a possible trade for star wide receiver Julio Jones, even more so following a report from Jeff Schultz of The Athletic on Thursday.

The Ravens are seen as one of the top contenders for the seven-time Pro Bowler, although there are certainly some who believe their interest might be a little exaggerated.

Nonetheless, that hasn’t put an end to the rumors with numerous publications putting together their own mock trade offers. One of which came from The Athletic’s own Jeff Zrebiec who proposed an enticing deal.

Zrebiec had the Ravens sending a 2022 second and fourth-round pick to Atlanta along with wide receiver Miles Boykin in exchange for Jones. Certainly an intriguing offer.

Would the Ravens actually make this offer for Julio Jones?

The potential obstacles to a Julio Jones trade are evident. For starters, Jones’ hefty salary would make things very difficult for the Ravens as they would need to create some space if they did trade for him.

The Boykin addition helps, but that wouldn’t do anything to create space for future extensions of stars like Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews. Jones would be under contract with no legitimate out until 2023.

That said, if Baltimore isn’t forced to surrender ridiculous draft capital, it might be something worth considering.

Jones is still playing at a high level when healthy as he hauled in 51 catches for 771 yards last season despite only playing in nine games. He was on pace for just shy of 1,400 receiving yards in a full 16-game season.

Of course, injuries do have to be taken into account. Perhaps an offer that proposes a conditional draft pick could make some sense. As in, a third-rounder that becomes a second if Jones plays 15 or more games.

Would that be enough for the Falcons to accept? The consensus from The Athletic’s Tori McElhaney, who covers the Falcons, was a resounding no.

But from Baltimore’s perspective, it makes some degree of sense. The Ravens definitely don’t need Julio Jones, but it’s hard to argue he wouldn’t be worth the price tag in this offer.

Boykin has been a disappointment through two seasons and it’s unclear what his role in the offense will be in 2021 — if he even has one.

The biggest obstacle would be his salary, although general manager Eric DeCosta could look to work out a couple of restructures to create extra cap space.

The Ravens are unlikely to get a deal done for Jones simply because other teams will probably offer more and be more aggressive.

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But if an offer like this was to be considered, the Ravens might just have to pull the trigger.