It’s Black Monday in Atlanta as Julio Jones has officially been traded. Links on that, of course, as well as some looks at mandatory minicamp.
Exit Julio Jones
Well, the weeks of rumors and tumult surrounding Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons finally came to a conclusion yesterday, as the all-world wide receiver was shipped off to Tennessee to join the Titans.
The Falcons received a second-round pick from the Titans for Jones, a return that’s already generating some rage among the fanbase. It’s a franchise-defining move for Terry Fontenot, but one that he was seemingly cornered to make once there was a leverage shift in the wake of that interview with Shannon Sharpe.
Tennessee is also assuming all of Julio Jones’ remaining contract, which had to be one of the main components of the trade. That now provides the free cash to get the rookie class under contract.
Hayden Hurst in Arthur Smith’s offense
With the selection of tight end Kyle Pitts in the 2021 NFL Draft and Atlanta’s decision not to pick up Hayden Hurst’s fifth-year option, questions emerged about how much Hurst would be utilized in Arthur Smith’s offense.
He’s likely not to be a forgotten piece on offense — especially given Smith’s penchant for using two tight ends on the field.
Defensive and special teams position battles
2021’s mandatory minicamp begins this week for the Falcons, so we took a look at some of the positional battles for spots on defense.
There’s a couple of spots on special teams that appear up for grabs, as well.