Julio Jones Gets New Number with Titans After Refusing No. 11

Julio Jones and A.J. Brown

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images Julio Jones, then of the Atlanta Falcons, swaps jerseys with A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans at the conclusion of an NFL game on September 29, 2019 in Atlanta.

Late Tuesday afternoon senior ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter broke the news that former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones will wear No. 2 with the Tennessee Titans.

Virtually simultaneously, the Titans confirmed the news …

… while also reminding fans that Jones—who wore No. 11 during his ten seasons with the Falcons—turned down new teammate A.J. Brown’s offer to take No. 11 from him.

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Why Not No. 8?

Some observers expected that Jones was going to choose to wear No. 8, the number he wore in college at Alabama between 2008 and 2010.

For what it’s worth, the Titans already have a No. 8, which is being worn by rookie undrafted free agent punter James Smith, though that hardly seems like an impediment to Jones claiming that number.

Anyway, the prospect of wearing No. 8 excited many Titans fans, some of whom are itching to repurpose their old Marcus Mariota jerseys.

Mariota—the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft—wore No. 8 for the five seasons he played for the Titans (2015-19), having since moved on to the Las Vegas Raiders, where the veteran quarterback wears the same number.

Twolio Jones?

Meanwhile, if social media is any indication, Titans fans are pumped about Julio Jones wearing No. 2.

Fans were quick to suggest that Julio now be referred to as Twolio Jones, which seems like a love or it hate it moniker, one that may or may not catch on in Nashville and elsewhere in Tennessee.

As for the reasoning behind choosing No. 2, Jones has not yet explained the decision.

“It may not be this simple, but 1 + 1 does equal 2,” noted the Titans in their official announcement.

A.J. Brown: ‘The Sky is the Limit’ for the Titans Offense

Now Jones and the Titans must do the hard work to realize the potential of an offense that possesses a scary set of weapons in quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry (the 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year), plus Jones and fellow wide receiver A.J. Brown.

“We have to put the work in first,” Brown said after the trade between the Falcons and Titans came to light on Sunday. “We can’t just be the best team on paper. We have to put the work in and get the chemistry going, feed off each other, and hold each other accountable.

“The sky is the limit for the offense. It is all up to us,” he concluded.

Indeed, if Julio Jones can stay reasonably healthy, opposing defenses will have their hands full trying to slow down all of Tennessee’s offensive weapons. Last year, Jones, started just nine games for the Falcons and still managed to produce 51 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdown catches. In 2019 the seven-time Pro Bowler–and two-time first-team All-Pro–caught 99 passes for 1,394 yards and six touchdowns.

Jones’ best season came in 2015, when he authored 136 receptions for 1,871 yards and eight touchdown catches, with a career-high of 116.9 yards per game. All told, Jones has 848 career catches for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns.

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