Falcons to Trade Julio Jones to AFC Team

The Atlanta Falcons are trading Julio Jones. On Sunday, the Falcons announced they agreed to send the All-Pro wide receiver to the Tennessee Titans for a 2022 second-round pick, a fourth-round pick in 2023 and they are giving back their sixth-round pick in 2023. Jones will need to complete a physical in order for the trade to be complete.

"Julio Jones will always be part of the Falcons story, having set numerous records and creating many great memories for all our fans, including me, since the day we drafted him," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement. "He has been a fixture on our team for almost half the time I have owned the Falcons. As we both move in another direction, I'm deeply grateful for what Julio has done for our team and what he has meant to our city and, in my mind, he will always be part of the Falcons family. I wish him nothing but the best in Tennessee and throughout his life."

Rumors of Jones being traded started right before the NFL Draft when new general manager Terry Fontenot told reporters the Falcons will take phone calls on the All-Pro wide receiver. "That's one of those things when you're doing things the right way in an organization, you have to listen if people call, on any player," Fontenot told Fox 5 per ESPN. "Especially, we are in a difficult cap situation, that's just the circumstance and it's not a surprise for us. We knew the circumstance we were in. Our administration has done an excellent job up to this point getting us in a position to be able to manage the cap, and yet we still have more work to do.

"So when teams call about any players then we have to listen and we have to weigh it and we have to determine what's best for the organization and we have to handle everything with class." Jones was set to make a base salary of $15.3 million fully guaranteed this season with the Falcons with a salary cap hit of $23.05 million. With Jones being traded after June 1, the Falcons can spread out the financial hit over two years instead of one.

With the Falcons sending away arguably the team's best player of all time, they know can focus on signing all their picks from this year's draft class and sign free agents this season if needed. But the Falcons are losing one of the best wide receivers in the league, meaning the offense won't be the same.

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"I love Julio. I've been so lucky to play with him for the past decade, and he's an unbelievable player," Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said back in May per NFL.com. "I don't get involved in this side of it. From a teammate, from a player standpoint, he's my teammate. He's my guy. And you let the other side of it shake out how it is. But I know this: He's always ready to go. He's an incredible competitor and one of the best to ever do it at his position. So he'll have himself ready to go. There's no question about that."

In 2020, Jones played in just nine games due to a hamstring injury and caught 51 passes for 771 yards and three touchdowns. In his career, Jones is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, a five-time All-Pro selection and a member of the 2010s All-Decade Team.