For the first time in his NFL career, Julio Jones won't be wearing No. 11 when he takes the field this year. Instead, the former Falcons receiver will be switching to No. 2.
Jones actually had the option to wear 11 in Tennessee because it was offered to him by A.J. Brown, but the Titans receiver revealed on Tuesday that Jones shot down the opportunity to wear the number that he wore for 10 seasons in Atlanta.
Here's what Brown had to say about the situation on Twitter.
#11 until I retire . I tried to give it up and he wouldn’t take it . Respect 🤝— AJ Brown (@1kalwaysopen_) June 8, 2021
When Brown says he "tried to give it up," he's not kidding.
As early as April 28, Brown made it clear that he would be willing to give his number to Jones if the Titans were able to pull off a trade.
After the trade went down on Sunday, Brown said that he was already working on getting a new number so that Jones could have 11.
"I'm in the works with -- working with (coach Mike) Vrabel about something, about the number," Brown said. "I tried to switch to No. 1, (but) it didn't go through. ... But I'm trying to be a good teammate and look out for him and, you know, let him go out on the right foot. But we'll see. ... All the jersey purchases should stop for a while. Just give it like a month until we find out what's going on."
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Brown is a huge fan of Jones and he actually took some credit for the trade after the Titans acquired the Falcons receiver and that's mostly because Brown spent more than a month doing his best to recruit Jones to Tennessee on social media.
Jones has worn No. 11 since his rookie year in 2011 with the Falcons, but now, he'll be switching numbers for the first time in his career. After the Titans traded for Jones, one theory was that the seven-time Pro Bowler might switch to No. 8, which was his old college number at Alabama. However, that won't be happening as the Titans officially announced Tuesday that Jones would be going with No. 2.
That's good news for undrafted free agent punter James Smith, who now doesn't have to worry about giving up No. 8. As for why Jones picked No. 2, he hasn't explained that yet, but it's possible that he's looking at it as keeping 11 because he's now wearing 1 plus 1.