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Julio Jones Trade Rumors: Falcons 'Asking a Lot' for WR; Some Teams 'Lamenting Price'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 1, 2021

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons reportedly have a high asking price for wide receiver Julio Jones.

According to NFL insider Josina Anderson, a league source indicated their asking price may be excessive. Anderson noted that two teams have been "lamenting" the Falcons' demands within the past 24 hours.

Jeff Schultz of The Athletic reported last month the Falcons wanted to trade Jones because of their dire salary-cap situation.

Jones is set to make $15.3 million this season, but the Falcons only have $588,018 in cap space. Although he is Atlanta's all-time leading receiver in receptions and receiving yards, trading him would provide much-needed relief.

Jones also said in a phone conversation with Shannon Sharpe on FS1's Undisputed last week that he's "outta here" in reference to Atlanta.

ESPN's Dianna Russini reported last week that a team offered Atlanta a future first-round pick for Jones—no small price for a 32-year-old wideout. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday that he has heard the Falcons are asking for a first-round pick plus players for Jones, and Robinson expressed doubt that Atlanta could land that type of package.

Jones is one of the best wide receivers of the past 10 years, earning seven Pro Bowl nods and two All-Pro first-team selections, in addition to being named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-Decade Team for the 2010s.

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Prior to last season, when he was limited to 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns in nine games because of injury, Jones finished with at least 1,394 yards in each of the previous six seasons.

For his career, he has registered 848 grabs for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns in 135 regular-season games. While he would be a huge loss for the Atlanta offense, the Falcons can afford to part with him now more than ever.

Calvin Ridley has emerged as a go-to receiver for quarterback Matt Ryan, while tight end Kyle Pitts figures to make an instant impact after going fourth overall to Atlanta in the first round of the 2021 draft.

Many teams could certainly benefit from having Jones, but the Falcons may have to adjust their asking price to create the cap space they so desperately need.

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