Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot decided honesty is the best policy when it comes to Julio Jones trade rumors.
In an interview with Justin Felder of FOX 5 in Atlanta, Fontenot addressed the speculation surrounding the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver. Multiple reports have indicated that interested teams are calling the Falcons, and Fontenot told Felder that Atlanta would at least listen to offers for Jones in part because of the team’s cap situation.
“That’s one of those things that, when you’re doing things the right way in an organization, you have to listen if people call, on any player,” Fontenot said. “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 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.”
“We are in a difficult cap situation. That’s just the circumstance … When teams call about any players, we have to listen.”
🚨NEW — #Falcons GM Terry Fontenot responds to multiple reports that the team is considering trading Julio Jones pic.twitter.com/DbD9KZgJyU
— Justin Felder (@Justin_FOX5) April 27, 2021
If the Falcons do choose to move on from Jones, a trade likely wouldn’t happen until after June 1. Waiting until that date would allow Atlanta to spread out Jones’ massive $23 million cap hit over multiple seasons. (The front office did not restructure Jones’ contract this offseason.)
Jones has played his entire NFL career in Atlanta since being selected with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The 32-year-old is the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards, and he is only behind Roddy White in receiving touchdowns. He totaled 51 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdowns in nine games last season.
“Obviously that particular player, we hold him in high regard. He’s special in what he’s done and what he continues to do here,” Fontenot said of Jones. “But we have to consider any players, if it’s right for the team, because we have to do what’s best for this organization.”