Julio Jones trade rumors: Latest offer, possible timeline for deal

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Report: When Julio Jones may be traded and what it might cost originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Julio Jones trade rumors have flown at warp speed this week -- and a move might not be too far off.

There is "a sense around the league" that the Atlanta Falcons could trade their star wide receiver as early as next week, ESPN's Dianna Russini reported Thursday.

Russini also reported the Falcons have discussed "several" trade offers for Jones, including one from a team that offered a first-round pick for the seven-time Pro Bowler.

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The New England Patriots reportedly are among Jones' suitors, as they still need help at wide receiver and are one of the few teams with the salary cap flexibility to absorb his $15.3 million cap hit and.

It appears Jones has interest in the Patriots, too: Our Michael Holley reported the 32-year-old wants to play with quarterback Cam Newton, while NBC Sports' Chris Simms reports Jones has the Patriots and Tennessee Titans "on his radar."

It's difficult to imagine New England parting with a first-round pick for Jones, however. While he's one of the best wide receivers of his generation, Jones missed seven games due to a hamstring injury in 2020 and is about to enter his 11th season.

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer also reported recently that Jones potentially could be had for a second-round pick, so even though the Patriots use the upgrade at wide receiver, they're probably not keen on overpaying for a player at his age and salary.

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Of course, there's a chance the Falcons are just trying to gain leverage, and that Jones eventually could become available for less than a first-round pick. Russini added the Titans are currently a "long shot" to land Jones, so Atlanta's asking price will depend on the market for its top receiver.

It makes sense for the Falcons to trade Jones after June 1, when they can spread out his dead-money cap hit over two seasons and save $15.3 million against the cap in 2021. According to Russini, we may not have to wait long after June 1.