As first reported by ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Atlanta Falcons are expected to trade Jones to the Tennessee Titans, “barring any setbacks.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the deal is expected to be worth a second-round pick plus either an additional fifth-round pick or a swap of other picks.
Either way, Jones is headed to Nashville, not Baltimore. And the Ravens are probably better off as a result.
The Ravens made the right move not trading for Julio Jones
With Jones, it was never about the talent or even the compensation for the Ravens. Jones remains one of the best wide receivers in the NFL when healthy, and the price of a second-round pick is honestly a bargain.
But for general manager Eric DeCosta, it was always about financials.
Jones’ contract coupled with the Ravens’ tricky cap situation always made it more of a pipedream than a reality that they would trade for him.
They were certainly interested, and they inquired, but they quickly realized it was going to take too many moving pieces for it to work.
With impending extensions for the likes of Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews — not to mention Bradley Bozeman and DeShon Elliott, among others — the Ravens could ill-afford to pay Jones.
Even with the Falcons retaining a good chunk of his salary, the cap implications would be difficult to manage.
Then there’s the fact that the Ravens already invested heavily in the wide receiver position this offseason. They signed Sammy Watkins in free agency and added both Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace in the 2021 NFL Draft.
They didn’t need Jones like they might have earlier in the offseason.
The Ravens weren’t desperate for a trade and thus it was always unlikely to happen. And that’s probably for the best.
Baltimore could focus on developing their young receivers such as Bateman, Wallace, Devin Duvernay, and even Marquise Brown.
Meanwhile, they could use their future cap space to ink both Jackson and Andrews to long-term deals — two contracts that are certainly more important than Jones.
And they don’t have to surrender a second-round pick in the process.
Julio Jones would have been an excellent addition for the Ravens, but it was never going to work out.
Now, everyone can finally move on.