Julio Jones was traded to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in a deal that left many NFL players and fans scratching their heads. However, the surprisingly reasonable price the Titans paid for an All-Pro wide receiver may have had more to do with Jones’ contract than anything else.
According to Peter King of NBC Sports, the Titans were the only ones that were “really serious” about acquiring Jones. Teams like the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks checked in, but they did not want to pay Jones the kind of money he is owed and may seek with a new contract.
In the end, only the Titans were willing to give up draft picks and take on the $38 million Jones is owed over the next three seasons. Other teams wanted Atlanta to eat a portion of the deal.
The Baltimore Ravens also dropped out of the Jones sweepstakes after signing Sammy Watkins in free agency and drafting two receivers, King says.
Jones is 32 and has battled injuries in recent years. His talent is undeniable, but it is obvious that teams are concerned that he may have trouble staying healthy and his best seasons could be behind him. The Titans don’t share those concerns, and one player in particular has already proven how excited he is to have Jones as a teammate.