We have most likely seen the last of Julio Jones in red and black. The “Atlanta Falcons have discussed several trade offers” for the seven-time Pro Bowler, “including an offer for a future first-round draft pick,” according to a report from ESPN’s Dianna Russini.
Russini adds that the league has sensed a trade “as early as next week.”
Next week is June 1st and trading Jones post-June 1 means that the Falcons will save $15 million in salary-cap space. However, if they are to let him go before that date, then the franchise will take a $23 million cap hit.
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Julio Jones Wants to Win
Jones had been linked to trade rumors last offseason as well, but nothing ever came about the offseason talk. Things escalated on Monday when NFL analyst Shannon Sharpe called cold-called Jones on Undisputed and asked if he wanted to go to the Dallas Cowboys or wanted to stay in Atlanta.
Here is how the “unexpected” call went down: (Quotes and video courtesy of NFL Update).
“Oh man, no, I am outta there man,” Jones said.
Sharpe then asked ‘ideally’ where Jones might want to go. He said, “ideally I want to win.”
Sharpe replied, “don’t go to Dallas, if you go there you ain’t winning in Dallas, Julio.”
“Common listen, you already know I know.” Jones added, “I ain’t going to Dallas man, I never thought about going to Dallas.”
It looks like Dallas is off the table, but several other teams could be possible suitors, including the New England Patriots, who they have spoken to. And according to a recent report, Cam Newton is one of two quarterbacks Jones wants to play for next season.
Jones Has Two Preferred Destinations
While the Falcons have spoken to several teams, Jones could have a say in where he might land, the first being in New England, per Pro Football Talks’ Chris Simms.
In fact, Jones is more than ready to move on from Matt Ryan and joining the former Carolina Panthers quarterback.
“You know who (Jones) really wants to play with? He wants to play with Cam Newton,” Michael Holley reported on “Boston Sports Tonight,” adding that Jones isn’t happy with Ryan’s decline. “That’s the other thing: He thinks Matt Ryan has lost a little zing on his deep ball,” Holley said.
In addition to Holley, NBC Sports Edge reported that “the Patriots, who acquired Mohamed Sanu from the Falcons for a second-rounder in 2019 and have a history of trading for receivers, are one of the teams that could fit his $15.3 million base salary. The Chargers, 49ers, Raiders, and Colts have also been linked as possible landing spots for Jones.”
The other team on Jones’s wishlist are the Tennesse Titans, who seem to have the best recruiting department in the league with AJ Brown delivering their sales pitch,
What it’s going to come down to is money and what the teams can offer.
The Titans fit Jones’ winning needs more than New England. But unfortunately for Brown and company, the Patriots have a better opportunity to land the seven-time Pro Bowler than the Titans do as Russini was told it would be a “long shot” for Jones to end up in Tennessee.
It’s possible the Titans could still land the future Hall of Famer if they want to, it would just take some serious contract reconstructing.
However, if the Falcons can squeeze out a future first-round pick from another team across the league, Jones’ wishlist might simply just be a wish list.
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