In what has already been an unprecedented offseason in terms of player movement in the NFL, it seems that it’s not done yet as Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has made it clear that he wants out.
The Los Angeles Rams have already been extremely aggressive this offseason, completing a blockbuster trade for Matthew Stafford.
Even with a lack of cap space, the Rams have shown that they’re never afraid to make bold moves to improve their roster in hopes of getting back to the Super Bowl.
Despite that though, L.A. has never felt like a logical destination for Jones considering the team is already stacked at receiver with Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson and Tutu Atwell.
It seems that they can’t be ruled out yet though and could very well be in the mix as their odds of acquiring Jones have increased exponentially over the last week, via Pro Football Focus:
Odds to be Julio Jones next team via @DKSportsbook:
💰 New England: +450
💰 Los Angeles Rams: +500
💰 Tennessee: +500
💰 Atlanta: +600
Rams have moved from +6600 to +500 to land Jones since the odds opened a week ago 👀 pic.twitter.com/Ug4y0HOePL
— PFF (@PFF) May 28, 2021
There’s no doubt that acquiring a superstar like Jones will improve the Rams’ roster. In 10 NFL seasons, Jones has 12,896 receiving yards and 60 touchdowns while being named to seven Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams.
The 32-year-old is coming off an injury-plagued season in which he only played nine games and finished with 51 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdowns.
He is currently healthy and still one of the best receivers in the game though, so reports are indicating that the Falcons are looking for a first-round pick in return. If that is the case then the Rams can be ruled out since they already traded their next two first-rounders for Stafford.
If no other teams can match their asking price then perhaps the Falcons would turn to a second-rounder or collection of middle-round picks, which would allow the Rams to get involved.
As far as Jones’ contract goes, he still has the entire remaining three-year, $66 million extension he recently signed on his deal. In 2021, Jones will earn a base salary of $15,300,000, while carrying a cap hit of $23,050,000.
The Rams currently don’t have any cap space but perhaps could free some up by restructuring or cutting players if it meant acquiring a player of Jones’ caliber.
Rams star Jalen Ramsey has already let his thoughts on the situation be known, taking to social media to recruit Jones to L.A.
Championship windows don’t always last as long as expected, so maybe this is the time for the Rams to go all-in to compete the next few seasons with their current core. Jones’ dead cap hit with the Falcons decreases significantly after June 1, so a deal could come any time after that.