Falcons entertaining Julio Jones trade offers?
There have been rumors going back to last year about the Atlanta Falcons potentially trading star wide receiver Julio Jones, and they are not going away as we head into the 2021 season.
The Falcons have received calls from teams that are interested in acquiring Jones, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. While Atlanta would not be able to trade Jones prior to June 1 because of the salary cap implications, Rapoport is not ruling it out.
The #Falcons have received calls from teams inquiring about possible trades for All-Pro WR Julio Jones, sources say. A trade could not happen for cap reasons before June 1, but teams know Atlanta’s brutal cap situation and are calling. A deal won’t happen now, but later? Maybe.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 26, 2021
The Falcons are one of four teams in the NFL with negative effective salary cap space heading into the draft, according to OverTheCap.com. Effective cap space is the maximum amount of salary cap space a team will have after signing 51 players to its active roster.
Matt Ryan restructured his contract last month to give Atlanta an additional $14 million in cap space, and they are still in a tough spot. If they do consider a Jones trade, that would likely be the main reason. The 32-year-old carries a cap hit of $23 million this year and $19 million in 2022.
Jones missed seven games last season after sitting out just four total the previous six. His 771 receiving yards were his lowest total since 2013, when he appeared in just five games.
If you believe what Falcons owner Arthur Blank said about Jones recently, you might think a trade is unlikely. At the very least, it sounds like Atlanta is listening.
Photo: Lisa Ferdinando/U.S. Secretary of Defense via CC-BY 2.0