Arthur Smith on Julio Jones: Conversations with players are private

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Speculation about the Falcons trading wide receiver Julio Jones has been a running theme of the offseason in Atlanta and it grew more fevered on Monday.

During a phone conversation with Shannon Sharpe that was shown live on FS1, Jones said “I’m out of there” in reference to the Falcons and said he hoped to land with a contender for the 2021 season. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith had a video conference with reporters on Tuesday and Jones was the main topic of interest.

Smith wouldn’t say if Jones has requested a trade and said multiple times that he would not comment on a potential trade involving the wideout.

“[Players] should speak for themselves,” Smith said, via Zach Klein of WSB. “I’m not going to comment, it doesn’t change anything for us. We understand what our plan is moving forward. We have multiple private conversations with our players and those are conversations that are going to stay private on my end.”

Smith acknowledged that the Falcons need to create a good deal of cap space to sign their draft class and be able to make other moves. A post-June 1 trade involving Jones would open that space and recent days have made it feel a lot more likely that such a deal will take place.

7 responses to “Arthur Smith on Julio Jones: Conversations with players are private

  1. Now that this has broken, my prediction is he’ll be traded for a 4th round pick, with the Falcons paying at least half of his salary for the year. If the Falcons pay more, the pick goes up. If they pay less, the pick goes down. Worst case – 6th rounder.

    The big problem is that the cat’s out of the bag, which puts a crimp on the Falcons’ bargaining position – unless there are multiple suitors, which there may or may not be. The ideal suitor has a bunch of future picks available to trade, some decent cap room, a real need, and is a bit cash-strapped (“cash on hand” is different from “cap room available”). I’m not sure who’s out there that fits those criteria.

  2. The Niners are a good fit.

    Shanahan likes to have a veteran in the locker room. It was Sanders for a while, but he is gone. Another reason the Niners make sense is that Julio has played for Shanahan before and is familiar with his offense. He could step right in and contribute.

  3. radar8 says:
    May 25, 2021 at 1:24 pm
    The Niners are a good fit.

    Shanahan likes to have a veteran in the locker room. It was Sanders for a while, but he is gone. Another reason the Niners make sense is that Julio has played for Shanahan before and is familiar with his offense. He could step right in and contribute.
    ———————————————————————————————
    Running routes downfield is so different from team to team. Right?

  4. “Running routes downfield is so different from team to team. Right?”

    Wow. If you knew anything about Shanahan’s defense, you would know that the WRs have to decide on multiple routes, on any given play. Then there are the blocking assignments.

    Yes….Knowing the playbook helps EVEN wide receivers.

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