Matt Ryan showed class and respect in his Instagram post to Julio Jones two days ago. The same can’t be said the other way around.
Julio Jones has not said anything directly negative towards Ryan, and more than likely won’t. However, he did say to the media that he wanted a “big-armed quarterback that can deliver the deep ball.”
Jones also “wants to outrun defensive backs and get underneath the ball.”
To think that Ryan can’t make these types of throws is disrespectful to Ryan and their relationship. Ryan has completed many deep balls to Calvin Ridley, Olamide Zaccheaus, and Christian Blake the last few years and has too many names thrown to Julio Jones.
The simple fact is Julio Jones isn’t what he used to be, and his injuries and age have finally caught up with him.
Julio Jones’s remarks came out of left field for a guy that previously was quiet as a mouse throughout his career.
The events that unraveled over the last few weeks have to come as a shock for the fan base, the coaches, and the players. Everyone imagined Julio Jones retiring with the Atlanta Falcons, so the news that he wanted out, and was inevitably traded, is still shocking.
His remarks about wanting a quarterback with a strong arm and seemingly acting like his time in Atlanta was a prison sentence by saying “I’m outta there” is not how anyone wanted his time to end here. With that being said, Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons have handled the situation as well as one could, especially head coach Arthur Smith, who continues to get bombarded with questions about Julio Jones, a guy that he’s never even coached, and doesn’t care about.
The Atlanta Falcons have plenty of weapons for Ryan and will not miss Julio Jones
Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage proved last season that they are more than capable of leading the offense alongside Ryan. Hayden Hurst is a great weapon and could become even better with a second season with Ryan. Rookie Kyle Pitts could be a monster and the running game can’t possibly be any worse than it was last season, so the Atlanta Falcons will be just fine on offense without Julio Jones.
Make no mistake, Jones is an NFL Hall of Famer with the Atlanta Falcons and fans should be appreciative of his time here, but his career in Atlanta did end on a sour note that will somewhat hinder his legacy with the team.
If only Jones went out with nothing but love and respect for the city and team that welcomed him, this whole situation would’ve been easier to swallow.