By Adam Thompson | | 4 mins
Julio Jones Next Team Odds: Packers, Colts or Cowboys?
Few receivers had the impact or production in the late 2010s than the Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones.
But we’re in 2022 now. Jones, 33, has missed seven games in each of the past two seasons. If you totaled the production in those 19 played games – 82 catches, 1,205 yards – it would rank as his worst complete season since 2013.
Jones wants to play and is presumably healthy. If he’s got anything left in the tank, there are several teams with questions at the position that could use a sure-handed veteran.
Julio Jones Week 1 Team Odds
|Green Bay Packers||+325||23.5%|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+950||9.5%|
Despite Jones’ struggles with the Titans in 2021, Pro Football Focus posted a grade that ranked him 34th among all WRs with at least 40 snaps. We don’t know Jones’ offseason priorities, but typically for veteran receivers, the chance of playing for a Super Bowl, with an elite quarterback, can rank above getting paid the max potential.
The Colts offer a reunion with former Falcons running mate Matt Ryan. Indy has budding star Michael Pittman Jr. but have presumably moved on from veteran T.Y. Hilton.
There’s always Green Bay and the Packers. Aaron Rodgers has won the last two NFL MVP awards and the Packers need a proven pass-catcher to soak up some of the lost production from Davante Adams’ departure. It is tough to argue Jones couldn’t help in some capacity. It’s worth noting that head coach Matt LaFleur was QB coach in Atlanta in 2015-16, the two seasons Jones was first-team All-Pro.
The Cowboys replaced Amari Cooper with Michael Gallup in the starting lineup, but behind Gallup and CeeDee Lamb isn’t much. For a team that passes as much as anyone, and with Dak Prescott at QB, Dallas should have a spot for a player like Jones.
Returning to Atlanta after a one-year failed stint with the Titans would be a great way to end a Hall of Fame career. But with a new QB, new coach and rebuilding project in progress, it makes less sense for both sides compared to other teams.
All those teams have at least $12 million in available cap space and could use some of those funds for Jones.
Consider, for your NFL betting purposes, that the Browns have far more salary cap space than any other team. Their $41 million is $17M more than any other franchise. But QB concerns – Deshaun Watson may miss the year and Baker Mayfield may refuse to suit up, leaving journeyman Jacoby Brissett as QB1 – could be a deterrent.
The Ravens definitely need a WR with Marquise Brown now in Arizona, but cap space may prove to be a hurdle, and the run-first offense of Baltimore may prove to be another. The Chiefs added weapons but the idea of lining outside with Patrick Mahomes under center is likely tantalizing.