The Atlanta Falcons’ willingness to trade seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones has been a storyline throughout the offseason.
On Monday, Jones made his first public comment on the matter.
Sharpe called Jones from the set of the FOX Sports 1 show, and it was not clear if Jones knew he was on live television when he made the comment.
In response to where he would like to go if traded, Jones said: “I want to win.”
Sharpe responded by saying, “Don’t go to Dallas because you won’t win.”
“You already know I know,” Jones said. “… I ain’t going to Dallas, man. I never thought about going to Dallas.
During his pre-draft press conference, Falcons first-year general manager Terry Fontenot said the reason Atlanta would listen to trade pitches for Jones lay in the team’s salary-cap bind. According to overthecap.com, only the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears have a worse salary-cap situation for 2021 than the Falcons right now.
“We knew when we stepped into this, we were going to have to make some tough decisions because it’s just the reality of it,” Fontenot said. “That’s where we are with the salary cap, so we have to make some difficult decisions. We have to look at all the different options and all the different scenarios. And so, if someone calls about any player, we have to discuss it and do what’s right for the team.”
Trading Jones would cut $15.3 million off Atlanta’s salary-cap obligations for 2021.
On Monday, NFL Network reported Jones had requested to be traded “a few months ago” and the Falcons have sought to accommodate him. Jones joined Atlanta as the sixth player picked in the 2011 NFL Draft after the Falcons traded five draft choices to the Cleveland Browns to move up 20 spots in the first round to choose him.
In 2020, Jones missed seven games because of injuries and caught 51 passes for 771 yards and three touchdowns. Even so, only Jerry Rice has had more receiving yards in his first 10 NFL seasons than the former Foley High School star, who has 12,896 on 848 receptions since joining Atlanta as the sixth player picked in the 2011 NFL Draft. Jones’ average of 95.5 receiving yards per game is the highest in NFL history.