Julio Jones notes he’s “out of” Atlanta while speaking to Shannon Sharpe of FS1’s Undisputed. Should the Giants or Jets make a move?
Ladies and gentlemen: we may have some drama out of Atlanta.
On Monday, during an “Undisputed” broadcast on FS1, co-host Shannon Sharpe called Julio Jones of the Falcons. The superstar wide receiver’s future in Atlanta is unclear giving his increasing age, expensive contract, and the Falcons’ issues with their available cap space.
In a shocking moment, Jones told Sharpe, live on the air, that he’s leaving the team that drafted him in 2011.
Uh, wow, that's bad. They did not make it clear to Julio they were live on air until the very end. Someone (producers/host) should have stopped that. https://t.co/zBpqDnnSYL
— Elias Schuster (@Schuster_Elias) May 24, 2021
It was initially unclear if Jones was aware he was on live television, but according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the veteran actually requested a trade a few months back.
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
Jones’ contract carries cap hits of $23.05 million and $19.263 million over the next two years — given Atlanta currently has $1.69 million in available cap space, parting ways with him via a trade could be a financially beneficial decision. A trade likely wouldn’t occur until after June 1 because taking that route would lead to the Falcons saving $15 million in cap space in 2021.
Would a move for Julio Jones make sense for the Giants or Jets?
Obviously acquiring an elite talent like Julio Jones would be great for your roster — regardless of the quarterback, offensive coordinator, or head coach in place.
The Giants cannot afford a contract like Julio’s, simple as that. Big Blue owns just $5.22 million in cap space and can’t take on that type of financial burden especially if they’re possibly going to look to extend multiple contracts in the coming years, such as those of Saquon Barkley and Jabrill Peppers.
Atlanta may be looking for a first-round pick in return for the superstar receiver if the Falcons do indeed trade him, and in that case, the Giants would be in luck considering they own two opening-round selections in next year’s draft. However, New York may be better off using one of its 2022 first-round picks on a young player it won’t need to pay a whole lot or trading it for an abundance of selections, depending on where the pick is originally located.
The Jets, however, are in a tad bit different of a situation.
Not only do they also own multiple first-round picks next year (two to be exact, one of which is via the 2020 trade of Jamal Adams to Seattle), but the Jets additionally carry the cap space to afford him. The organization currently possesses nearly $28 million in space and could use a chunk of that to further enhance the talent level inside the receiver room.
Not to mention, the Jets need weapons for Zach Wilson, and the seven-time Pro Bowl wideout would immensely assist in the rookie quarterback’s ultimate development.
Trading for the current Falcon may not be an awful move, but it would all depend on what the Jets would be giving up for him.