Titans Julio Jones turns down AJ Brown’s No.11 jersey offer: “He wouldn’t take it”
This story has been updated from a previous version.
If there was a dial measuring AJ Brown’s current happiness level, it would likely go to 11.
The Titans third-year wide receiver revealed on Tuesday that he gifted longtime idol and new teammate Julio Jones his current No.11 jersey. But the All-Pro wide receiver, who held the number for each of his 10 years in Atlanta, told him to keep it.
# 11 until I retire. I tried to give it up and he wouldn’t take it. Respect
– AJ Brown (@ 1kalwaysopen_) June 8, 2021
It must mean a lot to Brown, whose admiration for Jones is clear. Case in point: when Brown made public his attempt to swing Jones to the Titans, he revealed a message he sent to the former Falcons wide receiver. The post is dated March 27, 2019 – a month before Brown was caught in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
“I just want to thank my big brother for paving the way for guys like me and you’re doing it the right way,” the post read. “I’m a (sic) receiver coming up in the draft and hope to be as good as you someday. Thanks man (for real).”
Then there’s the message Brown relayed after the Titans announced the All-Pro receiver: “You are all done. “
So, yes: Brown must be on Cloud Nine (or Cloud 11, so to speak).
The question now is what Jones number will wear in Tennessee. The most likely option is No.8, which he wore for three years in Alabama (and can now wear in the NFL thanks to NFL rule changes). Coincidentally, that number was released by former quarterback Marcus Mariota, who left the team after the 2019 season. Another option is No.82, the number Jones wore at Foley High School (Alabama). According to the Titans roster, that number is held by wide receiver Fred Brown, who signed with the team in early May.
Update: Jones has his new number, and it’s neither 8 nor 82:
It’s a curious selection for Jones, given his previous associations with the # 8 and # 82 jerseys. In addition, there has been talk of running back Derrick Henry, who wore the # 2 jersey during his campaign for the Heisman Trophy in Alabama, would go back to number in 2021.