Most concerning Julio Jones rumor has now surfaced
Julio Jones has been at the center of trade discussions for what seems like most of the offseason. There have been rumors that you could simply shrug off as being a little overblown, but there have also been some concerning ones.
Things like Julio Jones not being part of a social media promotion, but then suddenly he is part of the promotion.
Or People like Peter King stating the following: “I’d call it 60-40 that Julio Jones is traded by Labor Day”, is definitely a reason for concern. King has been in the center of the NFL for a long time, he does not say such things without knowing something.
But still, a 40 percent chance of Julio Jones gearing up as an Atlanta Falcon is a pretty high number, not as high as most Falcons fans would like, but it is better than a 10 percent chance.
The newest Julio Jones rumor is the most concerning one and points to the fact that he probably will not be an Atlanta Falcon come August.
Jeff Shultz of The Athletic has reported that the Atlanta Falcons “would like to” trade Julio Jones.
Yes, you read that right, they seemingly want to trade away one of their top two players on the entire roster. Not to mention a top-five player in franchise history, and one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history.
Jeff Shultz certainly has merit. He has been a writer for a long time, and he has his connections.
If this report is true, there is not much to say other than the fact that Terry Fontenot should have his head scanned.
There is a difference between possibly trading a player, and wanting to trade a player. Wanting to trade Julio Jones is simply insane.
It does not matter the amount of money you get back, no team or general manager should want to get rid of a player like Julio Jones. Yes, they should potentially weigh the pros and cons of trading him, but that is a far cry from wanting to get rid of the player.
Obviously, if this is true, it is not about wanting to get rid of Julio the player, it is wanting to get rid of his contract. However, there are other ways to clear up the needed money without moving on from a superstar.
Most notably is restructuring, or better yet, extending star defensive tackle, Grady Jarrett. If they feel that is not an option, then that should cause concern for his future with the team. That means they do not want to commit to him for the long haul, but that is another story for another time.
Trading Julio Jones, post-June 1st, would save the team just over $15 million. However, with that, it only drops his dead cap for next year by about $4 million, in the event that they would move on from him next year. Meaning his dead cap would be a whopping $15 million in 2022 if they were to trade him this year. How is that worth it?
Terry Fontenot and the Falcons still obviously have to sign the rookies, but there are other ways of finding the money to do so, so that argument is not really too valid. What are you going to do with $15 million after June 1st? Definitely not sign someone who can have the impact that Julio Jones can have.
Possibly, if Fontenot could somehow manage a first-round pick out of Julio, then you may have an argument. Even then you would feel like you need more. Most likely you would be trading him for basically what you traded Mohammed Sanu for, a second-round pick, and even with the possibility of getting a little bit more, it still is not worth it.
And for everyone arguing that he is very injury prone, that is simply unfair to Julio. He missed a good amount of game in 2020, that is a fact. But looking at the years before that, it is also a fact that he was able to play in virtually all the games, and play at the highest level possible.
This is one of the few moments when you wish Thomas Dimitroff was still managing the team. He had loyalty to Julio that was unmatched, and he understood what he meant to the team.
If the Falcons front office is truly committed to Matt Ryan, then they must show it by finding another way to clear up money. Julio Jones helps this team win now more than anybody else on the roster, minus Matt Ryan obviously.