There was a lot of smoke surrounding the Julio Jones trade before Sunday’s move, especially in terms of rumors. Albert Breer of SI gave us some insight into the process before the Jones deal went down. The news is disappointing, especially considering the rumors going around regarding Jones.
“No first-round pick was ever offered. And really, only once did a future 1 come up, and that was as part of a pick swap — so it wouldn’t have been a clean 1 — and never got to the point where the team in question actually made an offer.”
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk talked about some of Atlanta’s negotiation tactics, and how they may have backfired now.
That’s how it had been explained to us in the aftermath of the report. If the Falcons were going to get the first-round pick that, for months, owner Arthur Blank had coveted, the Falcons would have had to attach a draft pick to the package, possibly up to a second-rounder.
To the extent that the Falcons were pushing the notion that a first-round pick was on the table in the hopes of getting a first-round pick, they’re now paying the price from a P.R. perspective. Some fans who saw the report and believed it are now upset that the Falcons didn’t get a first-round pick for Jones. The fact is that they were never going to get a first-round pick for Jones, and that they weren’t offered one.
Peter King of NBC also chimed in on the process, talking about certain teams backing out of the Jones sweepstakes:
“None [were] willing to give what Tennessee gave”
“New England never had serious interest in committing $38 million to a 32-year-old receiver,” King reported. “Seattle was interested but not for huge money.”
This isn’t music to my ears, but the reality is that Jones’ contract really hindered any return that Atlanta could get. I don’t blame the Falcons for trying to drive up the price tag, but in the end, it just didn’t work. That’s part of negotiations, but at least Falcons fans get a little bit of clarity regarding the trade for their franchise icon.