Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones went viral Monday when he told Shannon Sharpe he was “outta there” during a live segment on FOX's Undisputed show. However, the viral moment might lose a bit of luster after the latest news.
The Falcons had appeared to express a specific interest in dealing Jones last week. It was assumed a trade would be made so as for the Falcons to alleviate salary-cap issues. However, there's another element involved.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Jones himself had actually requested a trade months ago:
“Clarity on the situation between the #Falcons and WR Julio Jones: The All-Pro requested a trade from the organization a few months ago, sources say, and the team then agreed to listen to offers,” Rapoport tweeted. “That’s how it began and why it continues.
Rapoport added that's why Jones willingly told Sharpe he has every intention of being traded prior to the start of the 2021 season. Whether the Falcons can obtain the value they seek is another question entirely.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Atlanta is still asking for a first-round pick in exchange for the 32-year-old receiver, who is owed just north of $38 million guaranteed in the next three seasons. But Schefter added executives around the league do not feel the Falcons will get that kind of value in return.
Schefter also noted the Falcons had initially hoped not to trade Jones within the NFC, but might now pull the trigger on a deal depending on best offer.
Falcons prefer not to trade Julio Jones in the NFC, but would do so for the right price. But now, with Jones wanting out of Atlanta, they are looking for the best value in either conference. https://t.co/D59vq0x9jz
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 24, 2021
In any event, it seems the Falcons-Julio situation is perhaps more amicable than it otherwise might have seemed Monday morning.
Jones wants out, and the Falcons seem willing to accommodate his trade request.