Why Has Julio Jones Not Been Traded Yet?

One of the greatest to ever play the WR position is on the trading block. Julio Jones, 32, expressed a desire to leave the Atlanta Falcons. Julio made the announcement on a phone call with Shannon Sharpe on the show, Skip and Shannon: Undisputed.

I’m outta there, man

Julio Jones

After the disastrous collapse in the Super Bowl, followed by years of losing, it makes sense that Julio would want a change of scenery. He has a finite number of miles left in his legs and wants to compete to win a Super Bowl. Evidently, Julio had been asking for a trade privately for months, so this is not news to the Falcons’ front office.

June 1 was the first day that he could be traded. Why has he not been traded yet, and what is the significance of June 1?

Salary Cap

The June 1 date is significant in terms of salary cap ramifications. This is how USA Today explained it… “

Teams that trade or release players, especially those with hefty contracts, after June 1 can defer the salary cap freight – essentially how a player’s bonus money is amortized – associated with such transactions into the following year.

USA Today Sports

Essentially, if a team waits until after June 1, the base salary of the remaining years on the player’s contract would be amortized (spread out) across the remaining years. If Julio were to be traded before June 1st, the remaining years of base salary would hit that team’s cap in a lump sum of all remaining years of base pay, and be applied to the current year’s cap number. Make sense? Clear as mud?

In a nutshell, teams save money waiting until after June 1st to trade for players with hefty contracts, like Julio Jones. They take less of a hit to their cap number by spreading their base payout over several years.

Why is Julio still in Atlanta?

June 1 came and went and a lot of fans are left wondering why he has not been traded yet? In an attempt to regain leverage in this deal, the Falcons are holding onto Julio Jones until they get the offer they want: a first-round pick. They are taking calls, negotiating, and hearing every team’s offer for this legendary receiver.

The Falcons have no sense of urgency here. They have nothing left to lose in this deal. By sitting on Julio, Terry Fontenot & Co. can drive the demand for the superstar WR, and create a frenzy amongst bidders. Teams like the Las Vegas Raiders, desperate for a great WR1, might be willing to overpay in order to secure a receiver for this year and beyond.

Yesterday was only the first day he could be traded, not the day he would be traded. We have a while longer to wait to see where Julio lands.