Trade rumors are starting to percolate around Falcons stud receiver Julio Jones. And when an image of Jones wearing a Cowboys shirt surfaced on the internet, it put all sorts of folks on notice. But now, that’s hardly the craziest part of the story.
On Monday’s episode of FS1’s Undisputed featuring Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless, Sharpe took to the phone lines to clear the air with Jones by dialing him up WHILE ON THE AIR … and it does not seem likely Jones knew he was on the air until the very end of the “interview.”
And because anything can happen on live television, something unexpected played out:
This is huge: Shannon Sharpe called Julio Jones live on @undisputed: Julio said he's "out of there" when asked if he wants to stay in Atlanta. He also said he doesn't want to go to the Cowboys. "I want to win."
Holy cow. I don't think he knew he was live. pic.twitter.com/5D8cXjclQt
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) May 24, 2021
It sure sounds like Jones was caught off guard by the television ambush. Even still … Jones made some things clear.
Jones doesn’t expect to be with the Falcons for much longer, saying “I’m out of there.”
He also would prefer to go somewhere he can win. And why wouldn’t he? It’s really been all down hill for the Falcons since blowing that 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI. Atlanta has just one winning season since reaching the Super Bowl in 2016. I imagine that is weighing on the 32-year-old receiver who averaged 108 catches and 1,633 receiving yards in his previous six seasons before an injury shortened 2020.
And finally, he has no interest in going to the Cowboys. “I ain’t going to Dallas,” Jones said on live TV, even if he didn’t know he was on live TV. “I never thought of going to Dallas.”
The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz recently reported the Falcons would like to trade Jones. And for what it’s worth, the Patriots are already popping up as a team having internal discussions about making such a move. But there are some major hurdles to clear for Atlanta to make this move. Beyond figuring out what a return looks like and how it would impact the current roster, there are real salary cap-related issues here:
Again, the financials involved for a Julio Jones trade. The acquiring team would owe Jones:
2021: $15.3M (guaranteed)
2022: $11.513 ($2M guaranteed now)
3-years, $38.326M for Jones, who turned 32 in February.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 24, 2021
And with that, you could probably pump the brakes on your dreams of a Julio Jones trade to Chicago.
Then again, I suppose Bears fans have seen crazier things happen.
UPDATE – The cost of doing business starts with a first-round pick (even if teams around the league don’t think it’ll get there):
Falcons prefer not to trade Julio Jones in the NFC, but would do so for the right price. But now, with Jones wanting out of Atlanta, they are looking for the best value in either conference. https://t.co/D59vq0x9jz
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 24, 2021
Ravens, Raiders and Colts were all interested in Julio before draft.
Not sure how Raiders pull that off, but…
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) May 24, 2021