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Terry Fontenot: If teams call about Julio Jones, we have to listen

Rumors about the Falcons putting together the framework for a Julio Jones trade continue to gain steam, and Mike Florio and Peter King look at his contract and think GM Terry Fontenot would be wise to move on.

The Falcons could trade star receiver Julio Jones after June 1 to create much-needed cap space, Peter King wrote in this week’s Football Morning in America.

Falcons General Manager Terry Fontenot didn’t squash the report when asked about it Monday night, adding credence to the possibility.

“That’s one of those things when you’re doing things the right way as an organization, you have to listen if people call on any player,” Fontenot told Justin Felder of Fox 5 Sports. “We are in a difficult cap situation. That’s just the circumstance. It’s not a surprise for us. We knew the circumstance we were in. Our administration has done an excellent job up to this point getting us in position to be able to manage the cap. Yet, we still have more work to do. So, when teams call about any players, we have to listen, and we have to weigh it and we have to determine what’s best for the organization, and we have to handle everything with class. Obviously, that particular player we hold him in high regard. He’s special what he’s done and what he continues to do here, but we have to consider any player if it’s right for the team, because we have to do what’s right for the team.”

The Falcons can create $15.3 million in cap space for the 2021 season and save the big dead cap hit for 2022, when the salary cap is expected to increase significantly, if they wait until June 2 to finalize the deal. A post-June 1 trade could not involve 2021 draft picks, but it could be agreed to this week.

The Raiders, Patriots, Titans and Ravens are teams that might have an interest in trading for Jones, King speculated.

Jones, 32, played only nine games last season. He made 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns.

But he is a seven-time Pro Bowler and twice has made All-Pro. Jones has 848 catches for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns in his 10 seasons.