The worst-kept secret in football is officially out, as Julio Jones himself said that he will not play football for the Atlanta Falcons next year. The betting odds have been accordingly updated, and there are currently 13 teams with a notable shot of landing Julio Jones, according to BetOnline.ag. Let’s take a look at the top five and see why each team could trade for him, and what stands in their way.
Julio Jones’ next team (if traded)
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) May 26, 2021
Julio Jones Betting Odds: A Case For the Top Five Teams
New England Patriots (-105)
The New England Patriots are the betting odds favorites for Julio Jones, and it’s by a fairly comfortable margin. Bill Belichick’s squad has every reason in the world to want Jones, and they have the financial resources to pull off the big move. Despite their big free-agent spending, the team still has $14.78 million in available cap space and should be able to make a few moves to fit Jones under the salary cap. Cutting running back Sony Michel, for instance, would free up just over $1 million in cap space.
The Patriots went crazy in free agency, signing tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith to lead the offense while bolstering the wide receiver depth with Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. New England’s supporting cast is no longer the worst in the league, but adding Julio Jones would make it one of the best units in the NFL. Whether it’s Cam Newton or Mac Jones throwing the football, this should be a very dangerous offense.
Tennessee Titans (+275)
The Tennessee Titans lost a ton of offensive weapons and didn’t do too much to replace any of them. A.J. Brown is an absolute stud, but do you really want to go into the season with Dez Fitzpatrick and Josh Reynolds battling it out for a starting job? Jones is exactly what this team needs, and combining Brown and Jones would give the Titans the best starting duo in football.
Brown is already recruiting Julio, and multiple leakers around the league believe that Jones’ preferred destination is either with the Patriots or the Titans. Only time will tell if either team actually lands him, but there is a reason these two are the favorites.
Julio to Tennessee now! pic.twitter.com/ixZNV7fApB
— AJ Brown (@1kalwaysopen_) May 26, 2021
Baltimore Ravens (+300)
The Baltimore Ravens have spent the majority of the offseason searching for a legitimate WR1 for their offense. After settling for Sammy Watkins in free agency, the team selected Rashod Bateman in the first round and Tylan Wallace early in the fourth. These three combined with Marquise Brown should give Lamar Jackson all the help he needs, but there’s always room for a guy like Julio Jones.
The Ravens currently have $9.78 in available spending money, which means they won’t need to make too many moves to fit Jones’ contract on the roster. The biggest question comes down to how the Ravens will run their offense if and when they land the talented superstar. Baltimore has been one of the most run-heavy teams in football since Jackson took over, but will they continue with that philosophy after adding so much pass-catching talent?
Miami Dolphins (+800)
There is a pretty large gap between the top three teams and the rest of the pack, but that doesn’t mean the Miami Dolphins aren’t capable of landing the generational talent. Tua Tagovailoa left a lot to be desired as a rookie, but he wasn’t put into a favorable spot. Coming off of a major injury and with no real offseason program, the Alabama product had to make do with one of the worst supporting casts and offensive lines in the league.
This front office clearly believes Tagovailoa can be the real deal, as they signed Will Fuller and drafted Jaylen Waddle to make life easier for the young quarterback. Adding Jones to be the true alpha would be a wonderful way to see if this kid can actually be the future: if he still struggles with all this help, then it’s time to find somebody else.
San Francisco 49ers (+900)
Nobody has had a more exciting offseason than the San Francisco 49ers. Despite their 6-10 record, this team clearly believes that they can compete for a Super Bowl when the roster is healthy. The team has one of the most talented defenses in the league, a promising young quarterback, and a fantastic supporting cast in George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk. It’s hard enough to defend a Kyle Shanahan offense, but doing so with Julio Jones and the rest of the aforementioned talent is just unfair to the rest of the league.
It shouldn’t be hard to fit Jones under the cap, as the team could cut Jimmy Garoppolo and gain all the spending money they need. The biggest issue is if the 49ers are willing to part with even more draft picks. The team gave up a king’s ransom for the right to draft Trey Lance, and the team will probably have to give up a second-round pick for Jones. This is a talented team, but every roster in the league needs some infusion of talented youth if they want sustained success.
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