The Atlanta Falcons continue to hang star wide receiver Julio Jones out to dry with constant trade rumors. Jones has fully embraced the rumors by voicing his desire to leave. All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey made his feeling known by making a recruitment pitch to join the LA Rams.
Julio Jones headed toward departure from the Falcons
Since the 2021 NFL draft, rumblings remain around Jones’ uncertain future.
The trade chatter picked up again as the Falcons have kept the star wideout available. Jones is in the first year of his three-year, $66 million deal that runs through the 2023 season. His $22 million annual salary is the NFL record for wide receivers.
The 32-year-old remains one of the league’s best wide receivers. Last season, he recorded 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns despite missing six games.
Jones is producing at a historic pace, becoming the fastest to reach 12,000 receiving yards along with the most receiving yards in his first 125 games (12,047). He also holds the Falcons’ records with 812 receptions and 12,125 receiving yards.
Meanwhile, the front office remains committed to Matt Ryan as the future under center. The lingering uncertainty guided the star wideout to state during a phone call with Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe on F1’s Undisputed Monday that he wants out.
As the trade rumors float around, another NFL star has vouched for his team to pursue a trade for the seven-time Pro Bowler.
Julio Jones is already being recruited by Jalen Ramsey: ‘Rams should be a place superstars should want to play football’
As Jones‘ status in Atlanta remains unknown, several other teams have internally discussed exploring a trade.
Star cornerback Jalen Ramsey took to Twitter to publicly push for the Rams to make a serious run to acquire the All-Pro wideout.
“A winning culture, a great city, primetime games, LA’s number 1 football team, etc etc,” Ramsey tweeted. “Sounds like the Rams should be a place superstars should want to play football. #YesImRecruiting lol I wanna win.”
Ramsey holds tremendous respect for Jones’ game-changing ability, but the Rams have yet to express interest. It isn’t the first time he’s made a public pitch to a disgruntled star as he previously pushed to get Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson to LA before the team acquired Matthew Stafford.
The Rams don’t need to address their wide receiver situation due to already possessing several talented pass catchers. Granted, Jones would quickly step in as the No. 1 receiving option, but the team has a highly dependable group led by Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.
The front office also added DeSean Jackson and took former Louisville wideout Tutu Atwell in the second round of this year’s draft. General manager Les Snead holds the history of making the aggressive play to acquire talent, but trading for Jones may be out of the picture.
Patriots and Titans may make strong pushes
The Rams may not be in the mix for Jones, but several others teams may be soon.
Reports have surfaced that the 32-year-old prefers a trade to either the Tennessee Titans or New England Patriots. Jones sparked more speculation after recently working out with Titans All-Pro running back Derrick Henry.
Meanwhile, the Patriots reportedly recently discussed the possibility of making a move to land the star wideout. Jones also holds a strong interest in playing with Cam Newton.
The writing is on the wall that a trade appears imminent before the 2021 season. The question becomes whether when not if Jones finds a new NFL home. The asking price may be steep, but there will be an active market to acquire the All-Pro talent.
Contract figure courtesy of Spotrac.