If the Atlanta Falcons end up having to trade Julio Jones, it won’t be because they want to. It will be because they have to. Some don’t understand that, but poor salary cap decisions in years past have left the franchise in a mess.
One of the few solutions is to unload the cap hit that comes along with Jones in 2021. If the future Hall of Fame wide receiver is traded after June 1, it will save the team over $15 million. That’s a large chunk of change for a franchise that doesn’t yet have enough cap space to sign its upcoming draft class.
New general manager Terry Fontenot has done an excellent job trying to get things under control. He’s brought them out of a $30 million deficit, but more still needs to be done. Fontenot recently acknowledged that means taking calls on players, including Jones.
“You have to listen if people call…on any player,” said Fontenot, via Falcons Wire. “And especially, we are in a difficult cap situation. That’s just the circumstance, and that’s not a surprise for us.”
Fontenot took it a step further, getting into more details about Atlanta’s star receiver.
“That particular player [Jones], we hold him in high regard, he’s special — what he’s done and what he continues to do here,” Fontenot continued. “But we have to consider any players if it’s right for the team because we have to do what’s best for the organization.”
Tough decisions have to be made sometimes. It would be strange seeing Jones suiting up for another team, but that scenario is looking more and more likely every day.
Hopefully the Falcons are able to find another solution to keep the Alabama product in black and red.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.