AP Photo/Brynn Anderson
The Baltimore Ravens reportedly could be among the teams set to pursue Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones on the trade market.
During an appearance Saturday on SportsCenter, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler said: “I’m told [the Ravens] are willing to get involved if the price is right.”
Jeff Schultz of The Athletic reported May 20 that the Falcons “would like to” trade Jones due primarily to his $15.3 million salary in 2021. The Falcons are under a salary cap crunch and have only $588,018 in cap space currently.
Jones seemed to confirm the Falcons’ desire to trade him this week when he told Shannon Sharpe during a phone conversation on FS1’s Undisputed that he’s “outta here” in reference to Atlanta.
Several teams could be in the market for a player of Jones’ ilk, as he has been among the top wideouts in the NFL over the past decade.
The 32-year-old veteran is a seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro selection with career totals of 848 receptions for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns in 135 regular-season games.
Jones is first on the Falcons’ all-time list in both catches and receiving yardage, and his 60 receiving touchdowns are second only to Roddy White’s 63.
The former University of Alabama standout was chosen as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade team for the 2010s, and he went six straight seasons from 2014 to 2019 with at least 1,394 receiving yards in each season.
Injuries limited Jones to just nine games last season, but he still finished with 51 grabs for 771 yards and three touchdowns.
The Ravens got very little production out of their wide receivers last season, as Marquise “Hollywood” Brown led the way with 58 receptions for 769 yards and eight touchdowns.
Aside from Brown, the next most productive wideout was Willie Snead with just 33 catches for 432 yards and three scores.
Snead is no longer on the team, although the Ravens did sign former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins in free agency and selected wide receiver Rashod Bateman in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.
Even so, the Ravens could still benefit from another weapon for quarterback Lamar Jackson, who hasn’t had many great options in the passing game during his young career.
If the Ravens are able to trade for Jones, they will go from having one of the NFL’s worst receiving groups to one of the best and provide Jackson all the tools needed to succeed.