In the end, Julio Jones got his wish. The Atlanta Falcons traded the star receiver to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday for a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick.
While the Titans eventually landed the surefire Hall of Fame receiver, the Falcons had discussions with a number of teams, The MMQB's Albert Breer reported Monday, including the Seahawks and each of their NFC West rivals.
"The Ravens discussed a Jones trade with the Falcons prior to the draft, but pulled out of the running after taking Rashod Bateman in the first round, and never got back in," Breer writes. "The Patriots never showed real interest to Atlanta in Jones, and the Raiders (perhaps for cash reasons) weren’t in it either. The Falcons did wind up talking to all four NFC West teams about a Jones trade, but never got a real offer from any of them."
The Seattle Seahawks need to find a way to make and keep Russell Wilson happy, and acquiring Jones would have given Wilson a three-headed receiving monster that would have been near impossible to stop.
The Los Angeles Rams are in win-now mode after emptying their draft cabinet to acquire Matthew Stafford and Jalen Ramsey over the past two seasons. The Arizona Cardinals always looked like a dark horse Jones contender, as the thought of pairing Jones and DeAndre Hopkins would have had Kliff Kingsbury drawing up plays to torture defenses with for months.
The 49ers were an easy team to link to Jones as the trade rumors swirled. Coach Kyle Shanahan was Jones' offensive coordinator in Atlanta in 2016 and has an affinity for the 32-year-old star.
But it would have been complicated for the 49ers to make a trade for Jones since they already surrendered picks to move up to draft Trey Lance. Jones' $15.3 million salary also would have been an issue for the 49ers, especially since there was also talk that Jones would request a new contract if he has a big year in 2021.
Jones now finds himself in Tennessee, as one part of a playmaking trio that will keep defensive coordinators awake at night.
As exciting as it would have been to have Julio Jones in the NFC West, all the teams must be happy Jones didn't land with another NFC contender. That was the best-case scenario with a deal to land the star receiver off the table.