Titans' A.J. Brown makes recruiting pitch to Julio Jones, won't give up No. 11

·3 min read

A day after Julio Jones broadcast "I'm out of there, man" in reference to his time with the Atlanta Falcons, A.J. Brown was on the horn recruiting him. 

The Tennessee Titans wide receiver tweeted a voice message he left for Jones urging the seven-time Pro Bowler to "come vibe with me."

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“Come on bro, come vibe with me, bro," Brown said. “ ... Trust me, bro. If you want to carry the load, you can carry the load. But if you get tired, you know I’ll carry you, bro.”

Brown referenced a 2019 text message he sent to Jones thanking him for "paving the way" prior to the Titans selecting him in the second round of the draft. Brown has since emerged as one of the NFL's most physically imposing receivers, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2020 after his second 1,000-yard campaign in two NFL seasons. 

There's one thing Brown won't do for Jones

A tandem of Jones and Brown would prove to be one of the toughest covers in the league if Jones is able to return to form from a hamstring injury that hampered him in 2020. While Brown offered to let Jones take the lead role in his proposal, there's one thing he won't do. Give up his jersey number. Both players wear No. 11.

"You know I'm not giving my number up," Brown continued. " ... You gonna have to rock No. 8. You already know all of this. Just come mess with our boy. Real talk. We're waiting on you over here."

Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons swaps jerseys with A.J. Brown #11 of the Tennessee Titans at the conclusion of an NFL game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
A.J. Brown wants Julio Jones to join him in Tennessee. But where Jones plays isn't up to either player. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Brown's pitch has a problem

There's one significant hitch with Brown's plan. Where Jones goes if he goes anywhere isn't up to him. He's under contract with the Falcons and will land where they trade him if they trade him. He doesn't have a no-trade clause.

That contract is the reason these conversations are taking place to begin with. The Falcons are over the cap and desperate to clear space just to sign their newly drafted rookies. Jones' $23 million cap hit this season is a problem for the Falcons. 

It would also be a problem for the Titans, who aren't among the 12 teams that can afford to take on his $15.3 million base salary while remaining under the cap. So while certainly exciting for Brown and Titans fans to think about, a trade to Tennessee isn't in play without some cap maneuvering in Tennessee. A team like the New England Patriots, which can afford the cap hit and have reportedly had talks about acquiring Jones, seems a likelier destination. 

Jones also professed on Monday that he wants to play for a winner. The betting lines don't like his chances at either destination with the Patriots listed at +3000 to win the Super Bowl and the Titans at +4000, both outside the top 10 favorites. But they're both more desirable than the +8000 Falcons. 

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