Yesterday morning on another brutal episode of “Undisputed” with Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless, Sharpe decided to call Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones live on the air to ask him if he is staying in Atlanta following recent trade rumors surrounding the star receiver. Jones stated to Sharpe that he is “out of there”, seemingly ending the rumors and confirming that Jones will be playing for another team come the 2021 NFL season. Whether or not Jones knew he was on live television when he said that is another story, and if I was Julio, I wouldn’t be talking to ol’ uncle Shannon anytime soon. Despite this hilarious turn of events, Jones said what he said, and now every fanbase in the league will be waiting to see where the All-Pro will land.
Naturally, the sportsbooks were all over this development as soon as it happened, and most of them have posted the odds as to where Jones will play next season. The list is very long and many odds are very close to one another, meaning that there are no huge favorites in the sweepstakes. Guys like Deandre Hopkins are already trying to recruit Jones on Twitter to the Arizona Cardinals to play with Kyler Murray and himself. One thing of note: the Bears are nowhere near the top of the list. Let’s take a look at some of the teams and their odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
New England Patriots +400
It has been widely reported that Jones has a significant interest in playing with his friend Cam Newton. New England has made it a point to get better this offseason following a third-place 7-9 finish in the AFC East behind the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. They re-signed Newton, added high-profile players like TE Hunter Henry, TE Jonnu Smith, and WR Nelson Agholor, and drafted Alabama QB Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. They lack a true No. 1 receiver, and Jones would certainly fit in nicely with Bill Belichick and co. They also have the cap room necessary to take on Jones’ $15.3 million salary, having the ninth most cap space left at $20.23 million.
Tennesee Titans +500
The Titans jumped from +800 to +500 literally while I am writing this article due to a report that Jones is targeting them or New England for a possible deal. The Titans remained an extremely competitive team last season, going 11-5 and winning the AFC South. They were defeated in the Wild-Card round by the Baltimore Ravens and will be looking to add receivers after the departure of Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith. The team has virtually no cap-room though, with only $3.63 million, which makes this deal financially impossible as things currently sit.
Los Angeles Chargers +550
The Chargers finished in third place within the AFC West behind the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs but found their QB of the future in Justin Herbert. The rookie was outstanding in his first season on his way to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Chargers have made several additions in free agency this offseason as well, and have a boatload of cap space, with $20.43 million. That would make it possible for them to trade for Jones without having to shed cap. Keenan Allen and Jones would make a great duo for young Herbert to throw to during his sophomore campaign.
Indianapolis Colts +600
Indy already had a great roster in place that went 11-5 last season with a QB that was on his last legs in Phillip Rivers. They lost to the Bills in the first round of the playoffs, and Rivers retired shortly after, which started the QB hunt for the Colts. They decided to trade for head coach Frank Reich’s old protege Carson Wentz, who has a disastrous season in Philadelphia last year with the Eagles and was benched for rookie Jalen Hurts. The Colts could use a true top-tier wideout like Jones to help Wentz try and get back to his former glory. They have $22.71 million in cap space, which is good for the fifth most in the NFL.
Chicago Bears +5000
Julio Jones is not coming to the Bears. At +5000, the Bears have some of the longest odds to land him, only in front of teams like the Eagles who sit at +6600. Not only do the Bears have almost zero cap space, which makes it incredibly hard to trade for him in the first place, they already have a No. 1 receiver in Allen Robinson ll. Robinson has been one of the best WR’s in the league throughout his career, despite having horrible QB play on his teams. The Bears would have to move Akiem Hicks and Jimmy Graham in order to afford his salary, while also probably giving up yet another first-round pick. The need just isn’t as prevalent right now as some other needs, as they look to get a deal done with Robinson to keep him in Chicago. If you think Jones is coming to Chicago, go put some money down on him right now. Just know that you are probably inserting it into a trash receptacle.