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Falcons trade Julio Jones to Tennessee Titans for future draft picks

Wide receiver Julio Jones, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has been traded by the Atlanta Falcons and will be taking his talents to the Tennessee Titans.
Wide receiver Julio Jones, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has been traded by the Atlanta Falcons and will be taking his talents to the Tennessee Titans.John Bazemore/Associated Press

One of the NFL’s most productive wide receivers over the past decade is on the move as Julio Jones’s departure from Atlanta became official Sunday. The Falcons agreed to trade Jones to the Tennessee Titans for a pair of draft picks.

The trade was announced by both teams and is contingent upon Jones passing a physical. The Falcons will receive a second-round draft choice next year and a fourth-rounder in 2023. In addition to Jones, the Titans get a sixth-round selection in 2023.

Jones, 32, is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and spent his first 10 NFL seasons with the Falcons. He has 848 career catches for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns. But he played only nine games in an injury-plagued 2020 season, and it had becoming increasingly clear in recent weeks that the Falcons would move on from their star receiver.

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Jones said, “I’m outta there,” in a telephone conversation with “Undisputed” host Shannon Sharpe late last month on Fox Sports 1.

By waiting until after June 1 to complete the trade, the Falcons are able to spread the salary cap hit of Jones’s exit over multiple seasons. Jones has a salary of $15.3 million this season and was to count just more than $23 million against the Falcons’ salary cap in 2021 if he’d stayed in Atlanta.

The Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots are among the teams that also had been linked to Jones in trade speculation. The Falcons were originally believed to have been seeking a first-round draft choice as compensation.

Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown and tailback Derrick Henry had lobbied publicly for Jones to be traded to Tennessee. Brown wrote Sunday on Twitter: “I need my commission from them recruiting videos.”

Packers CEO says fans base divided over Aaron Rodgers saga

Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy says he believes the uncertainty surrounding MVP Aaron Rodgers’ future has divided the team’s fan base.

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“The emails and letters that I’ve received reflect this fact,” Murphy said in a monthly column on the Packers’ website in which he answers questions from fans.

What's next for Aaron Rodgers?
What's next for Aaron Rodgers?Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

Rodgers hasn’t participated in the Packers’ voluntary organized team activities, a change from his usual offseason routine. The Packers begin their mandatory minicamp Tuesday.

ESPN reported in the hours leading up to the draft that Rodgers doesn’t want to return to Green Bay, where the three-time MVP has spent his entire career.

“We remain committed to resolving things with Aaron and want him to be our quarterback in 2021 and beyond,” Murphy said as he reiterated comments he’d made in a column a month earlier. “We are working to resolve the situation and realize that the less both sides say publicly, the better.”

Packers coach Matt LaFleur and general manager Brian Gutekunst have both said they want Rodgers back. Gutekunst has said he won’t trade Rodgers, who has three years left on his contract.

Giants sign first-rounder Kadarius Toney

The New York Giants have completed signing their draft picks, getting first-rounder Kadarius Toney under contract .

The Giants announced the signing late in the afternoon, hours after the team finished a voluntary workout at the team’s headquarters in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

New York opens a four-day mandatory minicamp on Tuesday under second-year coach Joe Judge. The team posted a 6-10 record in finishing second to Washington in the NFC East last season.

The Giants selected Toney at No. 20 overall after swapping first-round picks with Chicago. The Bears took Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields at No. 11.

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