Speculation surrounding the Atlanta Falcons trading Julio Jones has grown exponentially over the last week. But does it count as ‘speculation’ if new info comes from Jones himself?
That was the case on Monday when Jones appeared on FOX’s Undisputed. Well, ‘appeared’ might be the wrong word. Hosts Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe were discussing a picture that surfaced over the weekend of Jones wearing Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt. Sharpe ended up calling Jones on the phone, live on the air, to ask him about it.
“Do you want to go to the Cowboys Julio, or do you want to stay in Atlanta?” Sharpe asked. “I’m out of there man,” Jones replied, seemingly referring to the Falcons. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport later reported Jones requested a trade from the Falcons early in the offseason, and the team is open to moving him.
Asked where he was hoping to end up, Jones said “tight now, I’m just – I want to win.” He ruled out the Cowboys, but didn’t mention any other teams by name.
Julio Jones on...— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) May 24, 2021
...if he wants to stay in Atlanta: “I’m out of there”
...where he wants to play: “I want to win”pic.twitter.com/eovWbswLZ4
Sharpe didn’t seem to inform Jones he was on live TV until the end of the call. Of course, it’s possible they planned the appearance ahead of time.
Over the weekend, NFL Network’s Mike Giardi reported the Patriots have had ‘internal discussions‘ about Jones. To what extent those discussions reached is unknown. On Friday, NBC Sports Boston’s Michael Holley relayed that Jones would like to play with Patriots quarterback Cam Newton.
It’s currently in the Falcons’ best interest to trade Jones. As things currently stand, the team doesn’t have enough cap space to sign their 2021 draft picks, including fourth-overall pick Kyle Pitts.
The way Jones’ contract is structured, the Falcons would save $15 million in cap space if they trade him after June 1 – while it would be a $23 million cap hit to move him before then. Keeping that in mind, it could be a few more days at least until this saga has an ending.
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.