All-Pro and long-time Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones might be looking to move on from the place he once called home. Ever since the Falcons announced “would like to trade” Jones in an attempt to offset some of the salary cap issues, the rumor mill has been put into overtime. Any team not in good standing with their wide receiver core should be actively watching how the Falcons’ demands or offers. Even at the age of 32, a star of a receiver like Julio Jones is rare to come by. It seems the Falcons are in a good enough position to make do without their franchise leader.
One of the biggest teams that have been linked to the 7-time pro bowler is the New England Patriots. Teams and sources close to Jones’ camp have said the wide receiver has expressed interest in playing with former MVP Cam Newton. Within the Patriots organization, there have been reports of talking happening surrounding the Falcons’ chances of letting Julio Jones go. Adding Jones would help propel the New England Patriots receiver corps over the edge. During the off-season, the team has been busy adding pieces such as Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor, and Jonnu Smith. Adding a big target like Julio Jones gives other receivers space and time to shine.
New England isn’t the only team potentially looking to cash in on the rare opportunity. Other teams linked to Jones include the Baltimore Ravens, San Fransico 49ers (linking back up with head coach Kyle Shanahan could push the 49ers over the edge in their division), and the Indianapolis Colts.
The Falcons are going to have to make a decision soon to deal with their incoming draft picks and running out of money. Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot addressed the rumors Monday, giving a blunt view on the Falcons’ cap struggles.
“It’s not a surprise for us. We knew the circumstance we were in,” he said. “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.
“We have to determine what’s best for the organization, and we have to handle everything with class. Obviously, that particular player, we hold him in high regard … 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.”