Ian Rapoport has reported that teams around the NFL are beginning to inquire about the availability of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones.
Jones has a dead cap number of $23M according to Spotrac, but that number reduces significantly after June 1st making a trade possible if improbable.
Jones battled injuries in 2020 playing in only nine games. It was the lowest total of games he’s played in his 10 year career since 2013 when he only played in five.
The Falcons have been heavily linked with tight end Kyle Pitts out of Florida with the No. 4 pick in the draft, and moving Jones is the only way that the move makes sense.
In 2020 the Falcons finished dead last in total defense, had the 27th ranked rushing attack, allowed the fifth most sacks and have a quarterback that will be 36 heading into the 2021 season.
On the surface, taking another receiver with the No. 4 pick makes zero sense, but if Jones is to be moved on, finding his replacement starts checking more boxes.
Jones is on the verge of etching his name in NFL history.
His 12,896 yards ranks 20th all-time in the NFL, but he’s poised to make a big jump in 2021. Jones has averaged nearly 1,300 yards per season in Atlanta, and if he matches that number in 2021, he’ll move ahead of Andre Johnson and in to 11th place all-time.
Most Falcons fans wouldn’t begrudge Jones a move to a contender. He has been nothing but the ultimate professional in his standout career to this point. His name will rightly go into the Ring of Honor one day.