On Julio Jones, Arthur Blank finally blinked

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Billionaires always get whatever they want. Almost.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank wanted a first-round pick for receiver Julio Jones. He isn’t getting one.

The Titans, as expected in league circles a week ago, are getting Jones for a second-round pick. It looks like the compromise will be an extra late-round pick or a flip-flopping of selections, like the Falcons did when sending a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick to the Ravens for tight end Hayden Hurst and a fourth-round pick.

But it’s not a first-round pick. Yes, ESPN reported at one point that a first-round pick was on the table. What wasn’t reported at the time was that the Falcons would have sent both Jones and as much as a second-round pick to the team that put a first-round pick on the table.

Blank was holding out for a first-round pick because the Falcons got a second-round pick for receiver Mohamed Sanu and, as noted above, gave up a second-round pick for Hurst.

What’s being overlooked by those who are wondering why some other team didn’t trump Tennessee’s offer is that Jones comes to town with a $15.3 million guaranteed salary for 2021 (unless Atlanta is paying some of it, which it had been refusing to do). Jones also will want a new contract, either now or after the 2021 season.

With $38.326 million owed to Jones over the next three years, that’s $12.77 million annually. And that’s less than half of the top of the market.

While Jones may have to re-establish himself before cashing in, he definitely will be looking to do so. The Titans need to be ready for that possibility. With receiver A.J. Brown eligible for a new contract after the 2021 season, the Titans may have to a pair of receivers looking for big paydays.

Regardless, they now have Jones and Brown and quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry. The 2019 AFC finalist needs to be taken even more seriously in 2021.

On Julio Jones, Arthur Blank finally blinked originally appeared on Pro Football Talk