On Monday, Sports Illustrated senior reporter Albert Breer reported the Falcons are "listening to offers" on wide receiver Julio Jones due to the circumstances the team is in from a salary cap standpoint. Atlanta's general manager Terry Fontenot addressed the reports during his and head coach Arthur Smith's pre-draft press conference on Wednesday.
Fontenot emphasized he doesn't want to make the conversation solely about one player. The Falcons hold Jones in high regard and the conversations that are taking place are a product of the thorough roster evaluation Fontenot and Smith are doing.
"We hold that player in high regard," Fontenot said. "Pointing to the cap, pointing to the fact that we will answer calls on any players. When teams ask about players, we have to answer those calls. We have to listen because we knew when we stepped into this, we were going to have to make some tough decisions because it's just the reality of it, that's where we are with the salary cap. So we have to make some difficult decisions, so we have to look at all of the different options and all of the different scenarios so if someone calls about any player, we have to discuss it and do what's right for the team."
Jones, 32, signed a three-year contract extension with the Falcons in 2019 worth a reported $66 million. The team reportedly restructured the contracts of Matt Ryan, Jake Matthews and Deion Jones to get under the cap prior to the start of free agency. Jones' contract wasn't one the team restructured.
The seven-time Pro Bowler played in nine games last year as he suffered a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for majority of the second half of Atlanta's season. Jones caught 51 passes for 771 yards and three touchdowns in the games he saw action in last year.