Since the rumors started to flare up that Julio Jones could potentially be traded, the talk has centered around new general manager Terry Fontenot and why he would be orchestrating this deal. Wouldn’t Arthur Smith want to keep one of the greatest receivers to every play? Wouldn’t his offense benefit from having this guy, even if just for one more year? Didn’t a change to Grady Jarrett’s contract make more sense?
Well, it looks like we’re finally getting clarity after the bombshell Julio dropped earlier. Reportedly, it was Julio himself who requested the trade. The team’s “we’re taking calls” stance over the last few months appears to be at least partially motivated by that request.
Clarity on the situation between the #Falcons and WR Julio Jones: The All-Pro requested a trade from the organization a few months ago, sources say, and the team then agreed to listen to offers. That’s how it began and why it continues.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 24, 2021
This is a critical piece of the overall story that arguably changes the entire dynamic as it slowly leaks out to the press. Until now, fans have been mostly furious that the team would consider shopping Julio. The dream of having him paired with Kyle Pitts and Calvin Ridley was the stuff of fantasy, not actual NFL rosters. Anger at Terry Fontenot has escalated as time has gone on, but it looks like the new GM was simply trying to honor the request. The fact that it would at least give the team enough cash for 2021 to pay their draft class and pick up additional help is likely a factor here, as well, and another reason why Atlanta reportedly hasn’t approached Grady Jarrett’s camp about a contract extension to this point. They’re hoping to do what Julio asked and trade him, hopefully for a sizeable return, and the fact that it would also help solve their cap problems in the immediate term is a piece of the puzzle.
Julio Jones has played 10 years for the organization, a multi time Pro Bowler and All-Pro. When he approached the team with his request, they treated him with the respect he deserves and agreed to be open to it. That led to a flurry of calls before the Draft. https://t.co/2F0aFeSr5o— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 24, 2021
This is a tough pill to swallow for Falcons fans who have loved watching Julio Jones play here, and it’s unclear what all of this leaking out into the public eye will do for Atlanta’s possibility of maximizing their return in a trade. We really didn’t want to see Julio go, with all those thoughts of what he, Ridley and Pitts could accomplish with Matt Ryan and Arthur Smith in 2021, but it appears that it’s inevitable now.
What are your thoughts on this important development?