Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith is getting ready for his first year with the team. But unlike his predecessor, he’ll be starting it without the services of Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones, who the team traded to the Tennessee Titans earlier this month.
But Arthur Smith doesn’t believe that his side lost the trade at all. Appearing on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast, Smith described the trade as “a win-win” that helps the Falcons fix their salary cap issues.
“We knew the issue with the cap and then obviously the cap went down this year, coming off the bizarre year with the pandemic, the cap actually shrunk. So we knew there were going to be some big decisions we would have to make coming up. The way everything worked out, we feel pretty good,” Smith said. “We feel like it was a win-win. With the salary cap, and Julio going to Tennessee and us right now being able to solve our short-term issue with the cap.”
In trading Julio Jones, the Atlanta Falcons saved over $15 million in cap space. The move switches them from having the lowest cap space in the league to the top 12.
Why the Falcons traded Julio
— Cris Collinsworth (@CollinsworthPFF) June 22, 2021
Nevertheless, losing Julio Jones will be a pretty significant blow to the Falcons on offense. Despite being limited to nine games in 2020, Jones still had 51 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdowns.
Jones finished third on the Falcons in yards and fourth in receptions and touchdowns with those numbers.
But it’s pretty clear that the Falcons are looking to hit the reset button. Longtime QB Matt Ryan may not have more than a few years left of high-quality football, and they’re coming off having the worst record in the NFC.
Trading Julio Jones may have been the biggest roster move the Falcons made this offseason, but other big ones are very likely to come soon.