Falcons Set to Make Huge Move on Julio Jones

The Atlanta Falcons are set to make one of the biggest moves of the NFL offseason. According to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic, the Falcons "would like" to trade star wide receiver Julio Jones. However, Schultz did not that it doesn't mean it's "100% that it's going to happen."

This is something that has been speculated for a while due to the Falcons salary cap issues and the team is somewhat in a rebuilding process. The Falcons could restructure Jones' contract, but if that doesn't happen, the Falcons could make a post-June trade and would carry a dead-cap hit of only $7.75 million and save $15.3 million in cap space. Jones is coming off a 2020 season where he missed seven games due to a lingering hamstring injury.

With the Falcons having a new head coach in Arthur Smith and a new head general manager in Terry Fontenot, they are looking for a fresh start, and trading Jones could help with that. However, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan told reporters this week he isn't sure how the offense will look without Jones.

"I don't know," Ryan said. "He's been such a cornerstone of what we've done for a long time. I don't know. That's a hypothetical. I don't really want to go down that road. That's not really my business. But he's been such a great player. He's a hell of a teammate. I love him. We'll see how things shake out, but he's probably impacted my career more significantly than any other player. I've been really fortunate to be around him for as long as I have."

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After a stellar career at the University of Alabama, Jones was drafted by the Falcons No. 6 overall in 2011. He had a strong rookie season, catching 54 passes for 959 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2012, Jones had a breakout year, catching 79 passes for 1,198 yards and a career-high 10 touchdowns. His best season was in 2015 when he caught 136 passes for 1,871 yards and eight touchdowns. In his 10 seasons, Jones has recorded at least 1,100 yards seven times. He has been named to the Pro Bowl seven times while being selected to the All-Pro team five times. His play also led to him being named to the 2010s All-Decade team.