We are now firmly into the first week of June which means that NFL teams are beyond the June 1 deadline, a date when notable veterans can be moved in the name of providing some much-needed salary cap relief.
The Atlanta Falcons have been exploring this idea for some time, namely by potentially trading away star wide receiver Julio Jones. The Falcons traded up to draft Jones a decade ago and he has been an elite performer for them which has included some notable days against the Dallas Cowboys.
Interestingly one of Jones’ head coaches in Atlanta is now manning the Cowboys defense as Dan Quinn was hired by Mike McCarthy as defensive coordinator this offseason. Dallas will host the Falcons this season two weeks before Thanksgiving and obviously they want to win in Quinn’s revenge game.
That particular contest was made easier on Sunday as word surfaced that the Falcons have found a taker for Julio Jones, and it is someone whom the Cowboys will not be playing in 2021.
The Dallas Cowboys will officially not have to face off against Julio Jones in 2021
While it finally happened on Sunday it has felt rather inevitable that the Falcons would deal Jones away. A few weeks ago he was seen wearing a Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt which caused headlines for some, but the wide receiver put an end to that with a public appearance on FS1’s Undisputed where he denied planning to play for America’s Team while emphasizing that he would soon be gone from Atlanta.
Who would ultimately find a way to land him, though? At long last we have our answer. Julio Jones is headed to the Tennessee Titans.
The #Titans deal for Julio Jones:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 6, 2021
— The #Falcons get a 2022 2nd rounder and a 2023 4th rounder.
— The #Titans get Julio Jones & a 6th rounder in 2023.
— The #Titans take on Jones’ salary of $15.3M in 2021 and the rest of the deal.
— #Falcons have $7.75M in dead money this year.
As noted, it was simply a matter of time before Jones had a new uniform and it was all really a matter of which NFL team would present a package that the Falcons found satisfactory. One of the teams most-heavily connected to Jones over the last few weeks had been the San Francisco 49ers, and given that Kyle Shanahan was once the offensive coordinator in Atlanta, that obviously made sense. Jones had also been connected to the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams at times, both NFC teams.
While it remains to be seen if Jones can return to his elite form in his new home there is still the normal sigh of relief that accompanies elite talent leaving teams that the Cowboys have to play. When they go against Atlanta this year, they will “only” have to deal with Calvin Ridley and rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, if they see Jones this season it will be in the Super Bowl.
For what it’s worth, Dallas does visit Tennessee in 2022, but thankfully this season it is no longer an issue for the Cowboys.