5 dark horse teams who could trade for Julio Jones

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons. (Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons. (Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Trade suitors for Julio Jones are surfacing quickly, and these five teams are dark horses to land the Falcons’ star wide receiver.

Trade rumors first surfaced around Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones just before the draft, with some easy “Super Bowl or bust” suitors to tab. Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot has not denied they he’d move Jones if an opportunity came.

This coming Tuesday is the important point in a possible Jones trade. The Falcons can clear $15.3 million in cap space by moving him after June 1, and disperse a $23.25 million dead money hit evenly over this year, 2022, and 2023 (according to Over The Cap).

Jones played just nine games last season due to a nagging hamstring injury, but he produced when he played (51 catches for 771 yards) and there’s evidence he’s still got it at 32 years old.

The usual suspects are still out there as possible trade suitors for Jones (Titans, 49ers, Patriots, Packers, Colts, Ravens and the Seahawks even before Sunday’s report from ESPN’s Dianna Russini). But let’s dig deeper, and uncover some other teams who could get in the conversation.

Julio Jones trade rumors: Dark horse candidates to make a deal

5. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins invested in Tua Tagovailoa’s success this offseason, adding Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle to their wide receiver mix via free agency and the draft. But it can be argued they don’t have a real No. 1 wide receiver. Fuller and DeVante Parker have not shown they can be that kind of reliable option.

Unless the Falcons eat some money just to move Jones, the Dolphins would need to open up a fair chunk of cap space to take on his $15.3 million for this year. Cutting defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah and/or some others would help get it done, and the idea of sending Parker back to Atlanta in a deal for Jones shouldn’t be written off.

It won’t necessarily be easy, but the Dolphins have been rumored in the trade market for Deshaun Watson. What if they set that aside, at least for this year, and made a bold move for Jones? An extra first-round pick in 2023 might sweeten the pot.