Julio Jones trade rumors went viral on Monday after NFL insider Ian Rapoport tweeted that teams have called the Atlanta Falcons inquiring about the 7x Pro Bowler.
On Thursday, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported during an Instagram live session that the Ravens are one of the teams that have asked about Jones.
Glazer noted that the trade is unlikely due to Jones’ contract.
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) April 28, 2021
If Jones is traded after June 1st, the Falcons have a chance to save $15 million in salary-cap space and if they were to let him go before, then the franchise would take a $23 million cap hit. Jones missed seven games last season and teams might not want to risk $15 million on a banged-up veteran. And his contract doesn’t get any better over the next two years.
Here’s what a team acquiring Julio Jones in a trade would owe him on his current deal:
3-years, $38.326M in total.
Jones has averaged 95.5 receiving yards per game in his career, by far the most in NFL history. Still a huge weapon.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 26, 2021
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Falcons GM Has Responded to the Trade Rumors
Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot responded to the rumors in an interview with Fox 5’s sports reporter Justin Felder on Monday night.
Felder asked Fontenot about the trade rumors in which Fontenot was honest about the struggling cap situation the team is enduring right now.
“You have to listen if people call, so, on any player,” said Fontenot. “And especially, we are in a difficult cap situation. That’s just the circumstance and that’s not a surprise for us
The first-year GM also added that the Falcons have a lot of respect for the longtime wideout and his worth, but they’re still open to looking at all possible options.
“That particular player [Jones], we hold him in high regard, he’s special — what he’s done and what he continues to do here,” explained Fontenot. “But we have to consider any players if it’s right for the team because we have to do what’s best for the organization.”
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Now is the Time to Trade Julio Jones
Julio Jones’ health is a big question mark as he enters the 2021 season at 32-years old.
Jones finished the 2020 season with 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns in 9 games. His ACL played a big role in his decrease in production and you could tell his was struggling to get up from every hit he took.
Still, when Jones is feeling good he’s got enough gas in the tank to be a playmaker and the Ravens could certainly use a nice pass-catcher. Of course, the longtime Falcons dynamic duo of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will be missed, but Atlanta has Calvin Ridley now. Ridley eclipsed his first 1,000-yard season and is destined for another one this year. Russell Gage has also emerged and Atlanta will turn to the draft this weekend to add another weapon.
It’s time to move on from Jones and this could be the last offseason that Atlanta gets something “worth it” in return.