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Atlanta Falcons reportedly want to move on from Julio Jones before Week 1

Matt Johnson

[brid autoplay=”true” video=”780560″ player=”23231″ title=”3%20reasons%20why%20a%20Julio%20Jones%20trade%20to%20the%20San%20Francisco%2049ers%20makes%20perfect%20sense” duration=”91″ description=”There’s a darn good chance that a Julio Jones trade will happen at some point between now and before the start of training camp in July.The Atlanta Falcons are said to be open to trading the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver with the chances of him being moved increasing on a daily basis.Despite Jones’ bloated contract and advanced age, pretty much every contending team would come calling if he were dealt. That includes the San Francisco 49ers, who just so happen to boast a head coach in Kyle Shanahan who worked with Jones in Atlanta. Below, are three reasons why a Julio Jones trade to the 49ers makes sense.” uploaddate=”2021-05-11″ thumbnailurl=”//cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/17660/thumb/780560_t_1620763493.png” contentUrl=”//cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/17660/sd/780560.mp4″]

Julio Jones has likely played his final snap for the Atlanta Falcons. After 10 decades with the franchise, the All-Pro receiver could become the biggest cap casualty of the 2021 NFL offseason.

When general manager Terry Fontenot the job this spring, he had an overwhelming task ahead of him. Due to years of bad cap management by the former regime, the Falcons found themselves way over the cap and had very few options to solve their problem.

Restructuring Matt Ryan‘s contract and releasing several key contributors helped, but Atlanta has less than $1 million in cap space and still needs to sign a majority of its 2021 rookie class. As a result, with no other realistic solution, the Falcons are prepared to move on from a future Hall of Famer.

According to The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz, the Falcons want to trade Jones. The front office has discussed the possibility for months and the organization is now fully on board and would like to deal him to solve the salary-cap woes.

Related: Atlanta Falcons will ‘probably’ make Julio Jones trade this summer

Reaching that consensus isn’t easy, but the Falcons don’t have much choice. They need another $6-plus million cleared off the books to sign their rookies. That money is also needed for the regular season, filling out the roster when injuries strike and maintaining a competitive practice squad.

By waiting until after June 1 to move him, Atlanta creates more than $15 million in cap relief. It would solve the club’s issues and could even open the door to discussing contract extensions with Grady Jarrett and Calvin Ridley.

Read More: 3 reasons why the Atlanta Falcons should trade Julio Jones

The Falcons likely won’t receive a first-round pick for a player who twice led the NFL in receiving yards and is a five-time All-Pro selection. Jones’s contract is large enough that only a few teams can afford to acquire him, limiting the list of bidders.

Ultimately, the Falcons will likely need to settle for a second-round pick. At that cost, the Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Las Vegas Raiders will likely be involved. Once a deal goes down, expect rookie Kyle Pitts to step in as the No. 2 target in Arthur Smith’s offense.