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The Tennessee Titans drafted two wide receivers on the first day of May to address their most pressing need. Now, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, Tennessee is the betting favorite to land Julio Jones.
The Titans are +175 right now to make the trade. The Atlanta Falcons (+250) and New England Patriots (+500) round out the Top 3.
Vegas’ latest odds come on the heels of Jones’ Monday appearance on FS1’s Undisputed. “I’m outta there,” Jones said when called in the middle of the broadcast by Shannon Sharpe. The legality of not telling Jones he was live on-air until later in the phone conversation is very much in question. Still, the viral clip has receiver-needy fan bases like Tennessee worked into a lather
The Titans and any other NFL franchise thirsty for Jones will be in a holding pattern until that date arrives.
Jones made his trade request out of Atlanta months ago, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The window for the Falcons to actually execute a transaction like that with Tennessee or another club does not open until June 2. Any time after June 1, if Jones is traded, Atlanta can defer a $15.5 million dead salary cap hit into 2022.
The move is critical for new GM Terry Fontenot. The Falcons have the least amount of space available under the Top 51 contracts cap ($357,000) behind only the New Orleans Saints ($349,000).
Financially, the Titans are not in much better shape. Tennessee is the seventh most cap-strapped team as of Monday, May 24 with only $3.90 million available.
The question remains: what is the right price for a 32-year old receiver who played in only nine games last year? Adding his salary and cap hit would require at least one current player to restructure their current deal.
There is no question Jones’ presence would immediately elevate the Titans’ passing game.
Tennessee currently has 12 wide outs on the roster. The only player not named A.J. Brown or Anthony Firkser returning with more than 15 receptions is noted non-receiving back Derrick Henry (19). Without Jones, the Titans are one Brown injury away from the worst receiving unit in football.
The hypothetical addition of Jones also allows for a more comfortable usage of Tennessee free agency addition Josh Reynolds, as well.
Much has been made about the Titans’ lack of slot receiver options. With Jones in the fold, Reynolds can slide into that role where he was primarily featured for the Los Angeles Rams in 2020 (178 slot snaps, 8 receptions, 118 yard, 1 TD). Per Tennessee PR, the team returns 57 receptions from the slot last season (lost 47 receptions). Corey Davis lined up in the slot more than any other Titans wide receiver a year ago. His role is the one Reynolds is most likely to fill.
Players returning to Tennessee in 2021 are in bold.
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