It seems like the Falcons are going to trade Julio Jones soon.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports that a trade could come as early as next week and may net the Falcons a first-round draft pick.

That’s a sensible timeline for the Falcons, as they’re waiting until after June 1 to trade Jones. The reason for that? After June 1, they can spread the salary-cap hit for Jones over two seasons to save themselves $15 million in cap space this year.

MORE: Why Titans aren’t a good landing spot for Julio Jones

If they traded Jones ahead of that deadline, it would give them little wiggle room to make moves. Potentially, it could even force the cap-strapped Falcons to move on from or restructure the contracts of other players on their roster.

Considering that Jones is 32 years old, getting a first-round draft pick in exchange for him would be a good move. That could help to accelerate the Falcons’ apparent rebuild, and would give them the ammunition to eventually move up in the NFL draft and select the heir apparent for the 36-year-old Matt Ryan.

And there should be plenty of teams interested in the service of the former All-Pro receiver, even after an injury-marred 2020 campaign.

The Jones situation has unraveled rather quickly, and comes in the wake of Jones’ comments to Shannon Sharpe on FS1’s “Undisputed.” Jones, who reportedly didn’t know he was on air, said that he was planning to leave Atlanta, and that spurred news that he had asked for a trade earlier in the offseason.

Now, it looks like one may soon come to fruition.



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