Report: Jones-Falcons tensions started with rocky 2019 contract talks

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The issues between the Atlanta Falcons and Julio Jones date back much further than previously known.

Jones, who's been the subject of rampant trade speculation this offseason, seemingly signaled the end of his time in Atlanta during an interview with "Undisputed" on Monday, telling Shannon Sharpe he's "outta there" when asked about his future with the Falcons.

But the relationship between the Falcons and Jones has been deteriorating since contentious contract negotiations in 2019, and the tension goes beyond his salary and the team's cap issues, The Athletic's Tori McElhaney and Jeff Schultz report.

While Jones was given a three-year, $66-million extension, the difficultly of the negotiations soured the relationship, with both sides reportedly believing they lost.

The All-Pro sat out training camp in 2018 before his previous deal was adjusted, and he considered doing the same in 2019 until owner Arthur Blank promised an extension was coming.

It was initially thought Atlanta was driving the potential parting due to its financial constraints, but Jones reportedly put in a trade request a few months ago and the club agreed it would listen to offers.

The NFC South team's cap situation is dire, but it reportedly could find a way to keep Jones.

Jones publically pushing for an exit from Atlanta has particularly been hurtful to Blank, who's long hoped the wideout would stay with the franchise for his whole career.

"You know who’s most upset about that? The owner," a source told McElhaney and Schultz.

Jones can't be traded until after June 1 for cap-related reasons. Moving him would save the Falcons $15.3 million in cap space and allow them to sign their rookie class.

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Report: Jones-Falcons tensions started with rocky 2019 contract talks
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