Julio Jones prompted trade rumors to intensify after he was seen rocking a Dallas Cowboys hoodie in a viral social media post. A day later, Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe broke the internet by calling Jones and placing him on speakerphone while on live television for FS1’s Undisputed. Sharpe asked Jones if he wanted to stay with the Falcons or preferred a trade to the Cowboys.
“Oh man, Nah, I’m out of there [Atlanta], man. …Right now, I want to win.”
Sharpe responded to Jones’ comments by telling the Falcons receiver, “Well, don’t go to Dallas, you ain’t winnin’ in Dallas, Julio.” Jones went on to pour cold water on the Cowboys trade rumors.
“Man, listen, come on, man,” Jones continued. “You already know I know. Listen, you know how people look with all that going on with the [Cowboys sweater] picture. Man, I ain’t never been on that, you know what I’m saying. …Oh yeah, I ain’t going to Dallas. Man, I ain’t never thought about going to Dallas.”
Here’s a look at the full segment which features Jones’ call towards the end of the clip.
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The Falcons Are Seeking a First-Round Pick in a Trade for Jones
Even if there was mutual interest in a trade, Jones’ $15.3 million salary made a deal to the Cowboys unlikely. Not only do the Cowboys not have cap space, but the team already has a deep group of receivers heading into next season. The Falcons are stuck in salary cap hell and all signs point to Atlanta shopping Jones well before his brief speakerphone cameo on FS1.
Even if the Cowboys tweaked some contracts, what would it take in a trade to send Jones to Big D? Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported the Falcons have been looking for a first-round pick, but teams have been reluctant given his contract, age (32) and recent injuries.
“I think the Falcons are motivated to turn over every rock on a June 1 Julio Jones deal,” Breer detailed. “And you might ask why, and the answer, as I see it, is best illustrated with a single monetary figure: $68.014 million. That’s the amount of prorated money the Falcons mortgaged forward on the Ryan, Deion Jones and Jake Matthews deals this offseason, and the dead money they’d be dealing with on those three if they cut all of them the day after the 2021 season. …The trouble is, after asking inquiring teams for a first-round pick for Jones before the draft, the climate in the NFL right now isn’t conducive to getting value for an expensive 32-year-old receiver.”
A Second-Round Selection Is Predicted to Be Enough for a Team to Land Jones in a Deal
The addition of Florida standout tight end Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 overall pick could make Jones even more expendable. All these factors are why Breer predicts a second-round selection will ultimately be enough for a team to land Jones.
The Falcons receiver is coming off his worst statistical season since 2013. Jones notched 51 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdowns in just nine games last season.
“So what would it take for the Falcons to part with Jones?” Breer added. “I think they’d probably do it for a second-round pick at this point. That said, I also think there’s some logic to hanging on to him. His contract would be a lot easier trade after this year, and the idea of having Pitts, Jones and Calvin Ridley together, even for just a year, has to be enticing.”