Is there an “IF” for the Julio Jones trade?
June first was always the deadline to start watching for the Atlanta Falcons to decide on Julio Jones future with the club. Rumors have run rampant since his unexpected call on Undisputed about whether the trade will be done quickly or drag on to training camp but the running theme has been that the move is imminent.
The major reason the Atlanta Falcons are open to moving Julio Jones, besides his request, is because they need the cap space to sign their rookie class. Every analyst reports that the team is in dire straights and running out of options, driving up the drama and creating a hectic environment for Falcons fans.
The truth is there is no rush for the Atlanta Falcons to sign their rookie class until training camp officially begins on July 27th. While June first was the opening of the window it will stay wide open for almost two months.
While fans want clarity, having the time to evaluate every option is a huge bonus for Terry Fontenot. How the first time GM handles the Julio Jones situation has ripple effects throughout his career.
Just about every team has been linked to Julio Jones, and rightfully so, he would make any team better, and not at least making the call would be malpractice. However, not everyone has the assets to get a deal done.
There have been plenty of rumors on Julio’s compensation, from multiple days two picks to picks and players and even potentially a first-round pick. The more bidders the better as the competition for his services will only drive up the price.
The only rumor that is being universally reported is that the Atlanta Falcons are not budging off their asking price for Julio Jones. So far, what they are asking is more than anyone is willing to pay. Standing firm is huge for Fontenot and his staff, accepting less will make the team look weak not only to the locker room but to the rest of the league.
The question remains: If the price isn’t right, does Julio Jones stay?
It seems like a foregone conclusion that Julio Jones is out the door. From his nonchalance on Undisputed to reports that he has requested a trade. That being said the final decision is on the Falcons and if the compensation doesn’t reach what they want the team may choose to hold on to Julio rather than lower their asking price.
The new regime has shown nothing but respect for Julio to this point and we know Arthur Blank has long been one of Julio’s most adamant supporters. If the situation doesn’t become contentious, and the team makes an honest effort to meet Julio’s desires the relationship may be salvageable.
Julio remaining in Atlanta is being written off for the 2021 season and a trade announcement could come at any moment. But do not be surprised if the drama drags on through the offseason and all of the speculations are for naught.
The two major ways the Atlanta Falcons can clear cap space for the rookie class is through moving Julio or either restructuring or extending Grady Jarret. If we start hearing reports of the team working on Grady’s contract the speculation of Julio staying with the Atlanta Falcons will increase significantly.
While it seems there is enough interest in Julio the price will be driven up and there are teams with the capital to get it done as the offseason continues it’s not a done deal at this point.
The chance of Julio Jones ever donning an Atlanta Falcons jersey again is slim so do not hold out hope for his return but don’t start burning jerseys just yet either.