According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, the Falcons are not playing around when it comes to negotiations involving Julio Jones — nor should they.
— Matt Karoly (@mattkaroly) May 29, 2021
Here’s the thing — I don’t find this asking price to be “outlandish” at all. I’ve said from the beginning that the Falcons should do right by Julio Jones, but not at their own expense. While he’s my favorite player of all time, he still put this organization in a bad spot with his contract and a bad spot by publicly (accidental or not) revealing that he wants out. The Falcons will still be eating a hefty $7.75 million in 2021 and $15.5 million in 2022, even if their demands are met. That’s plenty of salary for the Falcons to assume, especially considering the return may not even be a first-round pick.
If nobody is willing to meet these demands, the Falcons should just hold onto Jones. I understand he’s disgruntled, but he signed a contract — a massive one with tons of guarantees at that. There’s no reason to take a bad trade, eat the non-guaranteed money, and field a worse roster in 2021. The Falcons should do their best to give Julio what he wants, but they have to get some value in return. Anything less than a first-round pick and salary relief will be a disappointment among fans, because I’m still willing to bet someone will meet that asking price.