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#pounditTuesday, May 17, 2022

Articles tagged: Julio Jones

Julio Jones reportedly interested in playing with this quarterback?

Julio Jones

It’s clear that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is very much on the trade market, though no clear suitor has emerged yet. One report indicates, however, that Jones might have a destination in mind.

Michael Holley of NBC Sports Boston said on “Boston Sports Tonight” that Jones is interested in playing with New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton.

“You know who (Jones) really wants to play with? … He wants to play with Cam Newton. He likes Cam,” Holley said, via Darren Hartwell of of NBC Sports Boston. “That’s the other thing: He thinks Matt Ryan has lost a little zing on his deep ball.”

Jones knows Newton well from their battles in the NFC South when Newton was starring for the Carolina Panthers. That said, it’s an interesting stance, especially if Jones believes Ryan’s arm isn’t what it used to be. Newton has looked like a shell of his former self in the past few years too.

The Patriots have been intriguingly linked to a Jones trade, along with several other teams. Jones doesn’t really have any control over where he’s traded to, so if he really wants to play with Newton, he’ll have to hope New England steps up to the plate with the best offer.

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

DeAndre Hopkins sends awesome tweet about Julio Jones trade rumors

DeAndre Hopkins

The Arizona Cardinals have not really been mentioned as a potential suitor for Julio Jones should the Atlanta Falcons trade the star receiver, but DeAndre Hopkins wants to help get his team into the mix.

Hopkins made his feelings on the Jones trade rumors known with a hilarious tweet on Friday. The Pro Bowler said someone asked him at the gym if he would consider restructuring his contract to help the Cardinals acquire Jones. Hopkins shared a GIF that said it all.

Larry Fitzgerald has been contemplating retirement, though some recent news made it seem like he could play another season. Even if he does return, Kliff Kingsbury would almost certainly be able to find a spot in his offense for Jones.

If money is the issue for the Cardinals, a Hopkins restructure could help. The team has just over $13 million in salary cap space, according to OverTheCap.com. Jones’ cap number for 2021 is more than $15 million, and the Cardinals still have to sign their draft picks. Hopkins has a reasonable cap hit of $12.5 million, but it’s possible Arizona could move some money around with him or another player.

We know of at least one other star player who wants Jones to join his team, so the recruiting appears to be just getting started.

Derrick Henry reacts to Julio Jones trade speculation

Derrick Henry

The Tennessee Titans have been mentioned as a possible suitor for Julio Jones should the Atlanta Falcons trade the wide receiver, and Derrick Henry is crossing his fingers that the deal comes together.

Jeff Schultz of The Athletic published a column on Thursday explaining why the Falcons are likely to trade Jones this summer. He listed a handful of teams that might make sense for the Pro Bowl wide receiver, and the Titans were among them. Henry shared his thoughts on Twitter.

Henry is probably speaking for all Titans fans, as Jones would make the team’s offense that much more dangerous. They already have arguably the best running back in football, and A.J. Brown has emerged as a true No. 1 receiver over the past few years. It would be almost impossible for defenses to account for both Jones and Brown.

Of course, the Falcons want to trade Jones because of his massive salary cap hit. The Titans have less than $4 million in cap space, according to OverTheCap.com. That’s why acquiring Jones may be a long shot for them.

Henry is committed to dominating defenders in 2021, as evidenced by the insane workout video he shared earlier this offseason. He’d have even more space to run if the Titans trade for Jones.

Report: These teams may have interest in Julio Jones trade

Julio Jones

The Atlanta Falcons are in desperate need of salary cap space, and it is widely assumed that they are eventually going to create it by trading Julio Jones. Most teams don’t have the cap space to absorb the star wide receiver’s contract, but there are several to keep an eye on.

Jeff Schultz of The Athletic published a column on Thursday laying out in detail why the Falcons are likely to trade Jones. He noted that any team that acquires Jones would need enough cap space to absorb the 32-year-old’s $15.3 million salary. It would also make sense for the team to be a contender or a young team on the brink of contention. Schultz believes six teams — the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans — fit that description.

The Patriots are one of the most intriguing possibilities. They spent an enormous amount of money this offseason but still have roughly $15 million in cap space. While Bill Belichick tried to address New England’s need for skill players by signing star tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith and wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, Jones could really be a game-changer for Cam Newton and/or rookie Mac Jones.

Schultz was also told by sources that teams could seek to have the Falcons eat a portion of Jones’ salary, though that is not all that common in the NFL.

As it stands, the Falcons do not have enough cap space to sign their own draft picks. Jones’ cap number for 2021 is well above $20 million, and the team could save more than $15 million of that if he is traded post-June. There’s a reason we have heard numerous reports that Jones could be dealt before training camp.

Jones was limited to nine games last season due to injury, catching 51 passes for 771 yards and three touchdowns.

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

Julio Jones likely to be traded before training camp begins?

Julio Jones

The chances of a Julio Jones trade look more and more likely as the NFL moves into the latter part of the offseason.

Peter King of NBC Sports recently revealed on his podcast that after speaking with Atlanta Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot, he got the sense that a Jones trade was more likely than not before training camp.

“The one other thing I left there with is that I don’t think because Julio Jones wasn’t traded on draft weekend, I don’t think that means that he won’t be traded,” King said. “And in fact, I’d say it’s better than 50-50 that he will be traded before training camp begins.

“The reason is, obviously the Falcons are basically in cap jail right now, and they could clear an awful lot of space by trading Julio Jones June 2 or after. Meaning they could separate his cap hit into two years, instead of taking it all now. So, that’s why I still think there’s a good chance he’s gonna get traded.”

King adds that the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, Las Vegas Raiders, and New England Patriots could be interested parties. A second-round pick might be enough to get a deal done for the 32-year-old receiver.

It’s the second time we’ve heard about a potential Jones trade in the last couple weeks. The team is currently roughly $14 million over the salary cap when dead cap is included, meaning they have work to do before the season starts to get the roster where it needs to be. Trading Jones would hurt, but it might be the only solution.

Jones was limited to nine games last season due to injury, catching 51 passes for 771 yards and three touchdowns.

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

Falcons entertaining Julio Jones trade offers?

Julio Jones

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 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

Arthur Blank makes definitive statement on futures of two Falcons stars

Matt Ryan

The Atlanta Falcons struggled for much of 2020, and while it may make sense to embark on a rebuild, it seems a few franchise stalwarts will be sticking around.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Thursday that he was more or less certain that quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones would remain with the team in 2021.

“Well, I’d be shocked, completely shocked if [Ryan] was not (on the Falcons next year), and it really has nothing to do necessarily with his contract,” Blank told NFL Network, via Nick Shook of NFL.com. “Matt has played at a very high level for us since 2008 when we drafted him. He and Drew Brees  are the only quarterbacks in the history of the NFL that have thrown for more than 4,000 yards over a 10-year period of time consistently. He’s performed beautifully, was MVP of the league one year. So Matt can still play at a very high level and we expect him to be a Falcon next year, fully.”

Jones, who struggled with injuries for much of 2020, is also expected back.

“We expect Julio to be a Falcon, to be playing next year at a very high level as well,” Blank said. “God-willing, taking care of his body, his hamstring will be healed up. He’ll be able to play in more games than he played last year.”

Trades of both players already looked unlikely before Blank’s statements. There are a couple of good reasons for that stance, too.

Report: Falcons will not trade these two superstar players

Matt Ryan

The Atlanta Falcons are coming off their third consecutive losing season, and there has been talk about them potentially undergoing a total rebuild under new head coach Arthur Smith. That is reportedly not going to happen this offseason.

The Falcons have had no discussions about trading quarterback Matt Ryan or star wide receiver Julio Jones, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Pelissero cites two main reasons why the Falcons are not planning to trade Ryan or Jones. One is that Smith is expected to run a similar offense to the one Atlanta ran when Ryan was named NFL MVP in 2016. Another reason is the Falcons would have to absorb significant salary cap penalties if they move on from either player, with Ryan alone carrying a dead cap hit of $44 million.

There was talk prior to the trade deadline this season that the Falcons could entertain trade offers for Ryan and/or Jones. Ryan, 35, has three more years remaining on a contract that pays him $30 million annually. Jones is also signed through 2023 at an average salary of $22 million.

Jones had a very stern response during the season when he was asked if he wanted to be traded.

Julio Jones could be traded by Falcons?

Julio Jones

The Atlanta Falcons are coming off another unsuccessful season, and an extensive rebuild may be in the cards. That has led some to wonder if the team might part with one of its franchise players.

In his recent column collecting predictions by NFL executives, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes that there is some belief that the Falcons could try to shop wide receiver Julio Jones during the offseason. Fowler notes that a deal is unlikely, but one NFC executive points out that salary cap restrictions may force some teams to sell and make big names available on the trade market. Jones, who has a cap hit over $23 million in 2021, could be an option.

Fowler notes that a 31-year-old wide receiver with recurring hamstring injuries would typically be unlikely to attract much interest. However, Jones’ long-term status as one of the game’s best and toughest wide receivers would negate many of the negatives. In addition, the structure of Jones’ contract would allow teams to move on with no financial penalty after one season if things don’t work out.

Jones’ name came up in trade rumors before the deadline, and he made clear where he wants to be in response to those. Still, it may make sense for the Falcons to see what’s out there, even if a trade is probably unlikely.

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

AJ Brown shows respect to Julio Jones with great gesture

AJ Brown

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown is one of the best young wide receivers in the NFL. Julio Jones has been one of the best receivers in football for a decade now, and Brown showed on Sunday that he has great respect for his elders.

Brown showed up to TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars wearing Jones’ No. 11 Atlanta Falcons jersey. He kept the jersey on for pregame warmups.

Brown also wears No. 11 for the Titans, and he has openly said that is because of Jones.

While it’s unusual to see an NFL player wear a jersey from another player and team in warmups, Brown may have wanted to lift Jones’ spirits. The Falcons star is out for Week 14 because of a hamstring injury.