On Sunday after the game, Julio Jones was asked about the trade rumors and he made it clear it didn’t have any desire to leave Atlanta.
“No,” Jones said Sunday when asked if he wanted to get traded, per the team’s official website. “I play football. I know who I am, I know what I got going on. I know what I mean to this team.”
On Sunday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Jones nor Matt Ryan are on the trade block.
Why It Wouldn’t Work Out
While Julio Jones would be Atlanta’s best option to shop with, it would be difficult.
He has a combined cap hit of over $42 million over the course of the next two seasons. That would be pretty hefty for another team to take on.
But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be impossible.
Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay recently said that there’s always a way around the cap.
“We have a lot of really good football players paid at a very high level that impacts our salary cap. That said, I’ve always believed that salary cap is something that you can maneuver around, you can work within, and you can operate within. I’m not intimidated by it,” McKay said via ESPN.
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Jones Is A ‘Forever Falcon’
Julio was drafted in the first round with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
Though there have been some ups and downs with Jones and the Falcons franchise, it would be a huge loss for them. Julio Jones is a staple to the Atlanta Falcons organization and to the fans.
Plus, the 7x Pro Bowler is expensive and the Falcons would have to fork up $31 million which they can’t afford to do right.
The 31-year-old isn’t washed up yet. He ended last season with career highs, breaking memorable records. For starters, he took over Jerry Rice’s record in receiving yards having 12,000 in less than 17 games this season. He reeled in 99 catches for 1,394 receiving yards and six touchdowns last season and provided exciting touchdowns each week.
This season he’s still averaging at least 100 yards a game. So far, he has caught 31 passes for 447 yards and two touchdowns in six games. He also holds two franchise records for the Falcons: Receptions (828) and yards (12,572).
Rich McKay Put Trade Rumors to Rest
While McKay said there are ways around the salary cap, he put the trade rumors swirling around his top players to rest on NFL Network last week.
“We have a good football team,” McKay said. “We have a lot of good football players, some of which are very good football players. Don’t look for us to be trading those football players, we won’t be calling teams about that. Do we anticipate anything? We really don’t. It’s not our mindset, our mindset is to try to win football games. To win them this year and next year.”
While the Falcons don’t have anything set in stone, they still have some time to think it over. The final NFL trade deadline is on Nov. 3.