In September 2019, Julio Jones signed a 3-year, $66 million contract extension with the Atlanta Falcons, making him one of the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL.

On June 19, though, with the Falcons hiring Arthur Smith as their head coach months prior, Jones’ time in Atlanta came to a close as he was traded to the Tennessee Titans for a pair of draft picks. Suddenly, the face of the franchise was out the door.

Falcons owners Arthur Blank, along with then-general manager Thomas Dimitroff, felt that the deal they had reached with Jones was enough to satisfy their star, but they were wrong.

“We felt it was very generous,” Blank told The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz. “It made him the top paid receiver in NFL history. But for whatever reason, he felt it wasn’t sufficient respect. I don’t know why he’d feel that way, but he did feel that way.”

Eventually, the Falcons had no choice but to trade Jones as their relationship began to take a downturn.

“There were some people who were in the building who had an effect on him,” Blank said. “He wanted out, and the last thing coach Smith wants is a player who doesn’t want to be here.”