Julio Jones Trade Rumors: Falcons WR Requested Deal 'a Few Months Ago'; ATL Listening

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 24, 2021

ARCHIVO - En esta foto del domingo 6 de diciembre de 2020, Julio Jones, de los Falcons de Atlanta, calienta antes del partido ante los Saints de Nueva Orleáns  (AP Foto/Danny Karnik, archivo)
AP Foto/Danny Karnik, archivo

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones reportedly requested a trade from the team "a few months ago," according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

The team "agreed to listen to offers," but it doesn't guarantee he will be dealt.

This report comes after Jones told Undisputed on Monday that he is leaving Atlanta:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

“Nah. I’m out of there, man.”<br><br>Julio Jones tells Shannon Sharpe he’s leaving ATL and doesn’t want to go to Dallas because he wants to go somewhere he can win. 😳 @brgridiron <br><br>(via @undisputed) pic.twitter.com/5dFYYVWIiZ

The wideout has three years remaining on his deal, and Atlanta will owe $23.3 million in dead cap if it trades him before June 1, per Spotrac. The 2021 cap hit drops to $7.8 million if he is dealt after June 1.

Atlanta is coming off a 4-12 season and already has a reliable replacement at receiver in Calvin Ridley. First-round pick Kyle Pitts should also be a huge addition to the passing attack.

That could allow the Falcons to deal Jones for future assets while still remaining competitive offensively. The team finished fifth in the NFL in passing yards in 2020 even though Jones missed seven games because of a hamstring injury.

There should still be plenty of interest in Jones, who is one of the top receivers of his era.

The 32-year-old has earned seven Pro Bowl selections in 10 years and was twice named a first-team All-Pro. He had at least 80 catches and 1,300 receiving yards in six straight seasons from 2014 to '19 until being limited in 2020, although he still finished with 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns.

His career average of 95.5 receiving yards per game is also easily the most in NFL history.

The New England Patriots have reportedly held "internal discussions" about acquiring Jones, per Mike Giardi of NFL Network. The Baltimore Ravens also asked about the receiver before the draft, but talks didn't get far, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.