Atlanta traded perennial Pro-Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones to Tennessee on Sunday. In return, the Falcons will receive the Titans’ 2022 second-round draft pick and their 2023 fourth-round selection.
Tennessee will also get back Atlanta’s 2023 sixth-round pick.
The impact of the trade was immediately felt on the NFL’s futures market.
BetMGM promptly adjusted Tennessee’s odds to win the Super Bowl from 40/1 to 25/1, while the Falcons went from 80/1 to 100/1. The Week 1 spread for both teams didn’t move, however, at DraftKings.
The betting shop still has Tennessee installed as a 2.5-point home favorite vs. Arizona. The Falcons remain 3.5-point home ‘chalk’ vs. Philadelphia.
FanDuel listed the Titans as +175 favorites to land Jones on the day he told FS1’s Shannon Sharpe that, “I’m outta there” in reference to Atlanta.
Atlanta was so far over the salary cap before moving Jones that it was unable to sign its draft picks to rookie deals. That can happen now with $15.3 million in cap space created. The Titans take on the three years remaining on Jones’s contract for $15.3 million in 2021 and $19.263 million in ’22 and ’23.
The Falcons traded a large ransom to Cleveland in order to move up and take Jones with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The deal came up all aces for Atlanta, with Jones going to seven Pro-Bowls in 10 seasons.
The University of Alabama product had 848 catches for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns during his stay in Atlanta. He also had 118 rushing yards on 19 attempts.
However, Jones was only on the field for nine games last year, catching 51 balls for 771 receiving yards and three TDs. Nevertheless, Jones is still the franchise’s all-time leader in catches, receiving yards, 100-yard games (57), single-season receptions (136) and receiving yards (1,871), in addition to holding the single-game record for receiving yards (300). In fact, Jones owns the six best seasons for receiving yards in Falcons history.
“Julio Jones will always be part of the Falcons story, having set numerous records and creating many great memories for all our fans, including me, since the day we drafted him,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement. “He has been a fixture on our team for almost half the time I have owned the Falcons.”
With a team that’s ready to win now with players like Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill and A.J. Brown, the Titans couldn’t turn down a chance to acquire another elite playmaker.
“If we have a chance to shoot, we shoot,” Tennessee GM Jon Robinson told reporters in Nashville. “We felt like this was a time to pull the trigger, and I’m glad we did.”