Julio Jones' tenure with the Atlanta Falcons is coming to an end, according to the wide receiver himself.
During Monday's (May 24) episode of Undisputed on FS1, co-host and Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe called Jones on-air to update his status amid reports that the Falcons were actively seeking trades for the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.
“I’m out of [Atlanta]. I want to win," Jones told Sharpe over the phone during the live broadcast.
Sharpe and co-host Skip Bayless acknowledged a viral photo that appeared to show Jones wearing a Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt, adding to speculation that he preferred a trade to the Cowboys, which he denied.
"Nah...I ain't going to Dallas. I never thought I was going to Dallas," Jones told Sharpe during the phone call.
"You know who (Jones) really wants to play with? ... He wants to play with Cam Newton. He likes Cam," Holley said, as seen in the video above. "That's the other thing: He thinks (Falcons quarterback) Matt Ryan has lost a little zing on his deep ball."
While Newton is coming off a disappointing lone season with the Patriots, Jones is undoubtedly familiar with the quarterback's past success given Jones faced Newton twice annually when both players were in the NFC South, as well as during the 2010 Iron Bowl when Newton led the Auburn Tigers to a miraculous comeback from a 24-point deficit to defeat Jones' Alabama Crimson Tide, 28-27, en route to a Heisman Trophy and undefeated national championship season.
Newton threw for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns, and 10 interceptions while going 7-8 as a starter in 15 games, which included being diagnosed with COVID-19. However, the former No. 1 overall pick is just five seasons removed from winning the NFL MVP and head coach Bill Belichick has reaffirmed that Newton is expected to be New England's starting quarterback, despite the franchise using its first-round pick on former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
The Patriots are reported to be among teams with the best odds of acquiring Jones via trade, according to one gambling website.
The gambling website lists the following teams as having the best odds to acquire Jones, who is reported to be on the trade block:
- Baltimore Ravens - 11/4
- San Francisco 49ers- 3/1
- New England Patriots- 9/2
- Los Angeles Chargers- 6/1
- Tennessee Titans- 6/1
- Indianapolis Colts- 7/1
- Green Bay Packers- 9/1
- Philadelphia Eagles- 10/1
- Buffalo Bills- 14/1
- New York Giants- 14/1
- Dallas Cowboys- 16/1
The Athletic's Jeff Schultz reports the Falcons are actively trying to trade the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver and have been since new general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith were hired.
"The Falcons would like to trade Julio Jones," Schultz wrote (subscription needed). "That doesn’t mean it’s 100 percent that it’s going to happen. That doesn’t mean some members of the organization don’t believe the future Hall of Famer can still play, when healthy. But Jones’ availability on the trade market has been clear almost from the time new general manager Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith landed in Atlanta and realized the extent of the team’s salary-cap problems."
Schultz's five teams most likely to acquire Jones -- the Ravens, 49ers, Patriots, Colts, and Chargers -- nearly mirrorsBetOnline.ag's odds, also noting that the Tennessee Titans-- who are swapped into his top-5 -- "may show interest."
However, the Titans would need to improve their salary cap situation in order to acquire the star wide receiver.
The 49ers are the only NFC team included in Schultz's report as a potential trade destination for Jones and the Falcons may be against trading him within the conference. The Ravens have a need at wide receiver and were reported to have missed out on free agents Juju Smith-Schuster and T.Y. Hilton, both of whom re-signed with their previous teams.
The Patriots have been the most aggressive NFL team in terms of offseason additions, spending more than $172 million during the first day of legal tampering in the free agency period.
Jones has been one of the NFL's best wide receivers since being selected No. 6 overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2011 NFL Draft. The 32-year-old currently has 848 receptions, 12,896 receiving yards, 60 touchdowns, and a 15.2 yards per reception average for his 10-year NFL career.