NFL Insider Ian Rapoport discussed on NFL Total Access the ramifications of the June 1st cut rule and how close the Atlanta Falcons are to making a deal for Julio Jones.
“Julio Jones asked, he wants to be traded,” said Rapoport. “The Falcons, because he asked, are listening to offers now. What they really could have done, even before the draft, struck a deal interested in trading for Jones. What after 4PM post June 1 means is they could actually execute this deal.
This is a salary cap situation. Had they tried to do a Julio deal before today, it would have been a 23 plus million dollar cap hit. The Falcons could not have done that; they don’t even have space to sign their draft picks.
After June 1, they can spread out the cap hit over a couple of years. So it would be $7.75 million dollars, essentially, over the next three years. Which is to say this is not a June 1st deadline; this is a June 1st opening the door for the Falcons to really start looking at the possibility of executing a trade.
My understanding though, is there is nothing imminent right now. Yes, any team could call them right now and offer them what they want. Offer them a first round pick and they’d really be in the ballpark. Otherwise the Falcons don’t actually need the salary cap space until they sign their draft picks. Which they don’t need to do until right before training camp.
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New general manager Terry Fontenot can be patient. He can wait and sift through offers, wait to see if something happens to get someone to up their offer. Otherwise, he’s just going to wait and let the market come to him.”
As stated, the Falcons aren’t even in position to sign their draft class right now, which included the presumptive successor to Jones in uber talented Kyle Pitts.
Atlanta isn’t in a position where they HAVE to trade Julio, but owner Arthur Blank will likely do right by a player like Jones who has offered so much to the franchise. It’s up to Fontenot to get the best deal for Jones, and there’s no rush.
If a team loses a number one receiver during the coming weeks because of injury, the market for Jones will get stronger.