The Falcons are likely to move on from their best receiver, Julio Jones. At this point, it’s just a matter of when.
But NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that there is “no actual deadline” to get a deal done.
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In a recent appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Rapoport discussed a potential timeline for a Jones trade. And simply put, there isn’t one in place right now.
The weird thing about [a] Julio [Jones trade] — it is possible that it gets done this week — but there is no actual deadline until training camp. If the Falcons are like, we have to get a first-round pick. We are not trading him unless we get a first-round pick, then they may not trade him until July 27th or something like that.
That’s a sensible time frame to get a deal done within. As Eisen and Rapoport discussed on the show, the Falcons don’t have any of their rookies under contract yet, so the latest that they could realistically wait to sign them is right before training camp.
If the rookies aren’t under contract by that point, they aren’t able to participate in training camp. They are, however, able to participate in OTAs and rookie minicamp without signing a contract.
So, that’s the reason the rough deadline of July 27 would be the latest a potential Jones trade could happen.
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Rapoport did acknowledge multiple times that a trade could happen as soon as this week. However, unless the Falcons create any sort of artificial deadline, they could hold out and try to get their preferred compensation for Jones.
I would be a little surprised if something is not done before training camp, but other than that, it’s really just whatever deadline they decide to create. Like, they could tell teams we have to get it done this week so get your best offer in so put your best offer in because we are trading him. I haven’t heard that’s happened. Otherwise, it’s all kind of waiting around to see if something spurs movement in a trade market that seems pretty fleshed out. I don’t get the sense it’s really accelerated anywhere.
Basically at this point, everything with Jones appears to be a waiting game. There are reportedly several suitors for the former All-Pro, including the Patriots, Titans and Seahawks.
It’s just a matter of whether Atlanta can get the first-round pick it desires for him — or whether they’ll have to settle for less.
The Falcons have just under two months to answer that question.