Julio Jones: “I’m Outta There”
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones confirmed he will not be returning to the franchise for a 11th season when Shannon Sharpe, co-host of Fox Sports 1's Undisputed, cold-called him during the show.
Sharpe asked Jones directly if he would be returning to Atlanta to which the All-Pro receiver replied, "I'm outta there."
Jones has been mixed up in trade rumors for more than a year now, but according to reports, Jones asked for a trade earlier this year, and the Falcons have been listening. Late last week, a photo of Jones in Dallas Cowboys gear surfaced on social media, hence Sharpe asking Jones if he'd like to play in Dallas. Jones shot down the idea of playing with fellow Alabama wide receiver alumni Amari Cooper after saying "I want to win."
It did not appear Jones knew he was on the air with Sharpe and his co-host Skip Bayless. Regardless, after one full minute passed in the brief phone call, Sharpe did tell Jones they were on the air as he tried to close the call. Before Jones got off the phone, he doubled down and said "I ain't going to Dallas, man. I never thought about going [there.]"
Reportedly, the Falcons want to avoid trading Jones within the conference and would also like to receive a 1st-round draft pick for the 32-year-old wideout.
The crux of the situation appears to stem mostly from Jones's contract, in which he is due just short of $27 million over the next two years with a team option in 2023. According to The Athletic's Friday report that the trade will likely happen, The Falcons are around $588,000 under the cap and need around $7-8million to sign its draft class.
According to that same report, the Ravens, 49ers, Patriots, Colts, Titans and Chargers are the teams that have shown interest.
Jones has spent all ten of his NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons since the franchise traded up to the 6th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft to select the explosive receiver from Foley, Alabama. Jones has since become the all-time leader in every statistical category for a wide receiver in Falcons history, catching 848 passes for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns.