This is a non-sports story, but it is one that has been captivating the sports community, and for good reason. Julio Jones has been a phenomenally productive wide receiver since entering the NFL in 2011. In that time, he has broken over 100 receiving records, including most yards in a season (1,871), most receptions in a season (144), and most touchdown receptions in a season (16). Those numbers are a testament to Jones’s abilities and talents as a wide receiver, and they are also a testament to his ability to make things happen for the Atlanta Falcons.
Julio Jones’ year under Nick Saban has been, at best, interesting and, at worst, fraught. The Falcons are now 0-2 in the playoffs with Jones after a year where he made his first Pro Bowl and led the team with 1,409 receiving yards while being named the best pass catcher in the league. That being said, Jones hasn’t been perfect in two games so far, and in Sunday’s AFC Championship game he made a costly mistake. With the score tied 14-14 and under two minutes to go, Jones grabbed a pass from Tom Brady and made a poor decision. He decided to jump over the receiver to get the ball, and lost the ball. The Patriots then turned the ball over on downs, and the Falcons ended
Just three days into free agency and Julio Jones is already trying to get out of his deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
Relationships pay off. At least that appeared to be the case for Julio Jones. Without the help of his college head coach, the future Hall of Fame player probably wouldn’t have escaped the Atlanta Falcons. But thanks to Nick Saban, Jones has a real chance at a Super Bowl as he begins a new chapter in his NFL career with the Tennessee Titans.
Julio Jones finally got his way with the Falcons
. During the offseason, it looked like the Falcons had a chance to bring back Matt Ryan and his favorite target for at least one more year. However, it was later revealed that Jones had already played his last game for Atlanta. For weeks, there has been speculation about possible landing spots for a disgruntled wideout. The New England Patriots seemed like a logical option since they don’t have a true number one receiver. In the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts are also obvious candidates to acquire Jones. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers have emerged as an interested contender in the NFC. The Titans ultimately won the bid for Jones’ services. They sent a 2022 second round pick and a conditional 2023 fourth round pick to the Falcons in exchange for a seven-time Pro Bowler and a 2023 sixth round pick. It appears that Jones’ college coach helped make his dream of leaving Atlanta a reality.
A future Hall of Fame player can thank Nick Saban for his candor
Alabama Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban applauds his team while Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones points to the sideline during pregame warm-ups. | Wesley Hitt/Getty Images Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Do you think networking is important? For Jones, the fact that he and Mike Vrabel have a well-known mutual bond played a role in his transfer to Tennessee. While the Titans scouted the Falcons’ longtime star, Tennessee’s head coach relied on his relationship with Saban to get inside information on Jones. I had a very good relationship with Coach Saban, Vrabel said at a virtual press conference Thursday. He invited me there to try to get better and grow as a football coach. And then I was able to call him and ask him about the situation, about taking a player he was coaching, what I could do. While Vrabel didn’t reveal any details about Saban’s opinion of Jones as a football player, he did deliver an important message about the future Hall of Fame member’s character. Coach Saban clearly has a high opinion of Julio as a person, Vrabel said. Jones may have the cachet of Saban in terms of character, but the Titans didn’t trade him for the same player who dominated cornerbacks and safeties for the Alabama Crimson Tide. At 32 years old, Jones appears to be in the twilight of his career. And the way he looked in 2020, he’s not even the best receiver on his own team. But even if Jones can’t have the same week-to-week impact as A.J. Brown, does that mean the Titans made a mistake in acquiring him?
Were the Titans right to invest in Jones?
Only 2 for Julio is not a realistic trade for a player who is 32, owes $38 million over 3 years, missed 9 games last year due to injury, and has almost no playing experience. Tennessee could hit the jackpot here, but the deal is not without financial risk. https://t.co/siHjPhb0f4 – Peter King (@peter_king) June 8, 2021 If the Titans had made this deal three years ago, they would have been considered the big winner. A year ago, the idea of acquiring Jones for a second and fourth round pick would have seemed absurd. But after a season shortened by injuries, it’s much harder to declare Tennessee the winner of a Jones deal. In many ways, many things have to come together for the purchase of an aging wideout to seem reasonable to the Titans. In terms of initial capital, they did not pay an exorbitant price. However, the Titans did not get the Falcons to pay or of the remaining money on Jones’ contract. That means they have to pay $38 million over the next three years, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Jones wants a new contract at some point. If he continues to struggle with injuries and loses more ground, the former Falcon will be a costly mistake. And while no one doubts Jones’ work ethic and desire to play at a high level again, his age and the degree of wear and tear on his body don’t bode well for his chances of justifying his salary. The Titans have to hope that Saban’s blessing leads to some nostalgic moments from Jones. Because if he can’t turn back the clock and get back to his best form, Tennessee might give up on him sooner than later. COMPARED TO: Nick Saban’s life could have ended had he not gone to lunch with his Kent State teammateThe Atlanta Falcons are really good at drafting wide receivers. Julio Jones was drafted #6 overall in 2011, and he has helped the team to the Super Bowl three times in four years. But, in 2017, he will be entering free agency, after his contract expires with the Falcons. In this blog post, I will be addressing several of the reasons why the Falcons will not be re-signing him.. Read more about how much is nick saban worth and let us know what you think.
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