Julio Jones Trade Rumors: Falcons Tension Goes Beyond Contract, Salary Cap

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 26, 2021

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 13: Tennessee Titans Wide Receiver A.J. Brown (11) sports the jersey of Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Julio Jones (11) during warmups before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars on December 13, 2020 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Julio Jones' desire to move on from the Atlanta Falcons reportedly stems from more than the team's salary-cap situation, according to Tori McElhaney and Jeff Schultz of The Athletic. 

The pair reported that the team "could make it work" if they wanted to keep Jones around for an 11th season, but there is frustration that stems from negotiations in 2019. 

Jones appeared on "Undisputed" on Monday and said that he wants "out of there," and Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated said the wide receiver initially requested a trade back in March.  

Jones, who had been prepared to sit out training camp, ended up inking a three-year, $66 million extension prior to the 2019 campaign. According to The Athletic, neither side was pleased with the 2019 negotiation. 

Falcons brass has changed over since those talks, but Jones apparently is willing to take out his frustration on new general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith. The team has not publicly responded to Jones' comments, other than to acknowledge he has access to the team's playbook and OTA schedules. 

The Falcons need to clear salary-cap space, and Jones is due $15.3 million in base salary in 2021. If he is traded before June 1, he counts for $23.25 million against the cap and puts the Falcons $200,000 on the other side of the cap. However, a post-June 1 trade would save them his salary rate, per Spotrac

The 32-year-old is a valuable pickup for any team, with seven Pro Bowl nods during his 10 years in the league. He averages 95.5 receiving yards per game, the most in NFL history

Jones is reportedly eyeing the New England Patriots or Tennessee Titans, according to Chris Simms of Pro Football Talk.