Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons are speeding toward what now seems to be an inevitable divorce, according to CBS NFL senior writer Jonathan Jones. For his part, up to the point of the team taking offers with the reportedly active goal of trading him in 2021, Jones has continually professed his love for the team and his want of being a Falcon until he retires. That goal was derailed when newly installed general manager Terry Fontenot began viewing him as more of an albatross to the team's salary cap than a valuable commodity to hold on to, with Fontenot openly admitting he's entertaining talks to move on from the illustrious receiver.
To now, Jones has been quiet publicly about the goings on while Fontenot tries to facilitate deals, but no more. The 32-year-old was asked by Shannon Sharpe of Fox Sports 'Undisputed' if he wanted to remain in Atlanta, and he didn't hesitate to answer -- nor did he dance around the mulberry bush.
"Nah. I'm out of there, man," Jones said Monday.
It's unclear if Jones knew he was live, considering he was on a phone call with Sharpe.
What's said is said, however, and it gives a direct line of sight into how Jones views the devolving situation in North Georgia. He simply no longer wishes to be there, with walks in lockstep with Fontenot's mission to ship him out for cap savings. There's seemingly a plot twist in the drama as well, with Jones reportedly having requested a trade himself months ago -- per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network -- sparking Fontenot to begin a deeper assessment of the situation that's now led both sides to where they currently stand.
His view of the Falcons wasn't the only thing Jones touched on, given how the weekend unfolded when he was pictured wearing a Cowboys sweatshirt on a trip to Dallas that was actually for a workshop he took part in with several Dallas players.
When asked if there's anything cooking between he (and/or the Falcons) and the Cowboys, he answered that as well.
"Nah," he added. " ... I ain't going to Dallas. I never thought I was going to Dallas."
'Tis true, as sources noted to CBS Sports over the weekend: there is zero chance he puts on a Cowboys uniform and the team has no interest in attempting to add him. This makes sense, considering the recently signed extension on Amari Cooper and the presence of former first-round pick CeeDee Lamb to round out a potent receiver trio that also includes Michael Gallup. Additionally, the cap-conscious Cowboys have no want of taking on his hefty contract, one that would combine with that of Cooper's to make for an obese portion of the cap being allocated to one position.
So as far as potential landing spots for Jones goes, strikethrough the Cowboys, and key in on actual ones like the New England Patriots, who have reportedly had internal conversations regarding making a move for Jones and who Jones is rumored to have a lot of interest in. He wouldn't name a specific favorite on Monday, though, leaving that door open for what he hopes will be the right situation to walk through it.
"Right now, I wanna win," he said.