Falcons' Matt Ryan reacts to Julio Jones trade rumors

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FILE PHOTO: NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has always expressed his admiration for star wide receiver Julio Jones, but that doesn't mean he plans to meddle in the team's reported plans.

Jones, after all, reportedly is the subject of persistent trade rumors.

"I love Julio. I've been so lucky to play with him for the past decade, and he's an unbelievable player," Ryan said on Tuesday. "I don't get involved in this side of it.

"From a teammate, from a player standpoint, he's my teammate. He's my guy. And you let the other side of it shake out how it is. But I know this: He's always ready to go. He's an incredible competitor and one of the best to ever do it at his position. So he'll have himself ready to go. There's no question about that."

The Falcons showed their appreciation for Ryan, a former NFL Most Valuable Player, by restructuring his contract and electing against selecting a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.

As for life without Jones, the 36-year-old Ryan wasn't interested in entertaining the thought on Tuesday.

"I don't know," Ryan said. "He's been such a cornerstone of what we've done for a long time. I don't know. That's a hypothetical. I don't really want to go down that road. That's not really my business."

Jones, 32, caught 51 passes for 771 yards and three touchdowns in nine games in 2020. His low production was a byproduct of injuries.

The seven-time Pro Bowl selection has three years left on his contract, including $15.3 million for the 2021 season and $11.53 million for 2022 and 2023.

Jones and Ryan have been one of the most prolific combinations in NFL history. Jones' career average of 95.5 receiving yards per game is the best in NFL history.

But a hamstring injury derailed his 2020 season and Ryan clicked with Calvin Ridley. The third-year pro caught 90 passes for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns.

--Field Level Media

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