Julio Jones isn’t helping himself or Falcons with pre-trade behavior

Julio Jones. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Julio Jones. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The K.C. Chiefs would love to add Julio Jones. Fans all over Chiefs Kingdom have made it clear they’d love to see an already dangerous offense bring in the Atlanta Falcons elite wideout in a trade, and even some potential teammates have said the same. But that’s likely true of every other team in the NFL.

This week, Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire joined the growing chorus of players who have weighed in on trade rumors swirling around Jones with the following post. on Twitter:


Edwards-Helaire is far from the only Chiefs player to have stated the same, giving his approval for general manager Brett Veach to add Jones to the Chiefs offense. Tyreek Hill, the team’s top-shelf wide receiver, has already said that he’d love to play with Jones as well.

Unfortunately for all parties involved—including Jones himself and the very team trying to trade him—the wideout’s recent behavior isn’t helping anything. In fact, it might explain why the Falcons haven’t pulled the trigger on a deal just yet despite being past any June 1 budgetary concerns. In short, Jones’ current disposition could be threatening his future success.

Julio Jones is only hurting his own cause with his pre-trade behavior.

The Falcons have made no secret of wanting to trade Julio Jones this offseason and several teams are reportedly interested in bringing him in. From the Seattle Seahawks to the Tennessee Titans to the Kansas City Chiefs, various teams have been mentioned in conjunction with the future Hall of Fame wideout, but nothing has surfaced just yet. That hasn’t stopped Jones from continuing to distance himself from Atlanta.

On the heels of asking for a trade away from the team, Jones has already ruined a lot of the leverage that Atlanta might have in any potential trade. Everyone already knows the Falcons need to deal him away for salary cap reasons, but his talents and the demand for his services have kept his price afloat at a reported second round pick and then some. The Falcons might be holding out for a first-round choice, but no one has budged yet and Jones isn’t helping move the needle at all.

Earlier this season on Undisputed, Jones stated that he’s “out of there” in Atlanta, but then also shot down any trade to the Cowboys:

From there, Jones has stated that he wants to play for a strong-armed quarterback—just like most deep threats—as well as a contender. Does this remove other teams who might want to import Jones as a fringe contender and/or potential mentor for a bright young quarterback? What about teams like the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars who have the finances to burn and are trying to surround talents like Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence, respectively, with as much talent as possible?

The Falcons are already on the clock and have to make a deal in order to bring their draft class into the fold contractually and still have money going forward. No one wants this mess to drag into training camp as the Falcons try to move on and arrange a competitive roster for the ’21 season. At the same time, Jones is simultaneously burning bridges and taking other potential teams out of the mix by making his own side demands. Does a team really want to surrender a second round pick for a player who has basically stated he doesn’t want them?

Jones is tying the Falcons’ hands, but in doing so, he might be forcing the Falcons to cancel any potential deal. If you’re the Falcons, is it worth trading Jones if you have to sell him for pennies on the dollar? What about pivoting to keeping him somehow on offense and figuring the finances a different way? Maybe that’s not possible, but if Jones really wants to be traded away from Atlanta, he’s gotta help things along by being a model citizen until something is done and allowing Terry Fontenot to at least get something reasonable in return.

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