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#pounditSunday, December 5, 2021

Has this issue caused holdup in Julio Jones trade talks?

Julio Jones

The Atlanta Falcons have had discussions with numerous teams about a potential Julio Jones trade, but they may have to lower their asking price in order to complete a deal. While Jones’ age and injury history are factors in that, his contract may also be a concern for rivals.

A source familiar with Jones’ thinking told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that the star wide receiver could very well want a new contract if and when he is traded.

The contract Jones is currently playing under has an average annual value of $22 million, but a lot of that is the responsibility of the Falcons. If he’s traded, Jones will be owed $38.326 million over three seasons from his new team. That is viewed as a bargain for one of the top receivers in the game, but it may not be a bargain for long.

As Florio notes, Jones will likely want a new contract either immediately after he is traded or after the 2021 season. He could see how his first season with his new team goes and then ask for a substantial raise if he has a monster year.

Obviously, we’re dealing with a lot of ifs here. Jones might not even be traded, and one notable team has reportedly dropped its pursuit of the 32-year-old. Plenty of others are still interested, but Peter King of NBC Sports said Monday that he does not believe the Falcons have been offered a first-round pick.

The Falcons will save more than $15 million in salary cap space if they trade Jones after June 1, which is Wednesday. That may not be the driving force behind the discussions, but it is certainly a factor.

Photo: Lisa Ferdinando/U.S. Secretary of Defense via CC-BY 2.0

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