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The Cleveland Browns are one of the few teams with both the cap space and Super Bowl level expectations to trade for wide receiver Julio Jones while satisfying both the Atlanta Falcons’ and Jones’ desires.
The idea of the addition of Jones is exciting. Pairing Jones with Odell Beckham Jr. on the outside would give the Browns, when healthy, the best pairing of receivers. Add in Jarvis Landry and the Browns would have three top-level receivers making top-level money.
Salaries and the presence of Beckham and Landry were two of the biggest reasons we shared that the Browns were unlikely a week ago. An interesting turn, the Falcons publicizing Jones’ desire to leave comments via social media, opened the door a bit for the Browns to possibly be involved but it still seemed unlikely.
Now comes a report from Mary Kay Cabot that the Browns will not pursue a trade for Jones:
The Browns will not pursue the Falcons’ seven-time Pro Bowl receiver, just like they won’t pursue Aaron Rodgers.
Cabot discusses the team’s financial commitment to Beckham and Landry as a big reason while noting that the team has no interest in moving either of their receivers to make room for Jones.
Cabot continues that the Browns do not want to add Jones at his age and salary combination:
The Browns are excited about getting Beckham, 28, back from his torn ACL this season, and aren’t interested in trading for a 32-year-old receiver whose base salary is $15.3 million this season and $11.513 million in each of the next two years.
The Browns trading for Jones always seemed like a longshot even when the price tag for a trade seemed more reasonable than expected. Now, with a report that the Falcons could receive at least a first-round pick, and this report by Cabot, the longshot is even longer.