Because Odell Beckham Jr. is coming off a torn ACL suffered while with the Rams in Super Bowl LVI that will prevent him from being ready for the start of the 2022 NFL season, the No. 1 free agent receiver on the market has to be seven-time Pro Bowler Julio Jones, although the future Hall of Famer isn't what he used to be at age 33. Jones certainly could help put a contender over the top, however, and SportsLine offers odds on where he will sign.
The Titans definitely didn't win the trade for Jones from the Falcons last offseason as he finished with just 31 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown in 10 games with Tennessee. Jones did have a solid game in the divisional round upset loss to the Bengals with six catches (four for first downs) for 62 yards. He was released in March, which saved the Titans about $11.3 million in cap space. Jones still ranks first in NFL history in averaging 91.9 yards per game.
At this point, Jones figures to go title chasing – he should have one Super Bowl ring, but the Falcons memorably blew a 28-3 third-quarter lead against New England in Super Bowl LI and lost in overtime. Jones had four catches for 87 yards that night.
A reunion with former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in Indianapolis makes a ton of sense. The Colts are all-in for a Super Bowl this season following the trade for Ryan, but they still have questions at wideout behind Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell, and it's still not clear if the team will bring back TY Hilton. Perhaps playing in a dome again with Ryan will be a boost to Jones' career. ESPN's Bill Barnwell recently speculated on Jones to Indy.
The Green Bay Packers lost Davante Adams this offseason in a trade and have major questions at the position with a likely starting trio of Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins and rookie second-round pick Christian Watson. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said on the Pat McAfee Show this week he expects the Packers to be involved for Jones or Beckham.
One can never rule out New England, as Bill Belichick loves chasing one-time star veterans at a major discount. Buffalo is the +700 favorite to win Super Bowl LVII and Jones could serve as a potential No. 2 to Stefon Diggs over the likes of Gabriel Davis and Jamison Crowder. The Bills could even sign Jones in part simply to keep him from the Patriots or Chiefs or Ravens.
The Tom Brady allure can never be overstated in Tampa, either. Jones could help fill in while Chris Godwin works his way back from his torn ACL. There are reports out there that earlier this offseason Brady messaged Jones, "Come on down to the sunshine here in Tampa and let's be great together."
Dallas traded away Amari Cooper this offseason and Michael Gallup is recovering from a torn ACL. Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was Atlanta's head coach during Jones' most productive NFL seasons, which included five consecutive years of at least 1,300 receiving yards.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Which team will sign Julio Jones?
- Colts +300
- Packers +400
- Bucs +500
- Bills +700
- Patriots +700
- Cowboys +800
- Ravens +900
- Chiefs +1000
- Falcons +2000
Who wins the Preakness Stakes? And which underdog is a must-back? Join SportsLine now to see Jody Demling's picks for the Preakness Stakes, all from the expert who nailed 10 Derby-Oaks doubles and 9 of the last 17 Preakness winners, and find out.