Even though we are still a few months from the regular season kicking off, it feels like it is just around the corner. While teams are starting to focus on minicamps and seeing what they have with their current rosters, there is still plenty of news being generated from around the league. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories from the week in the NFL.
Titans Net Star Receiver
After months of speculation, the Atlanta Falcons finally traded star wide receiver Julio Jones, this week. The benefactor was the Tennessee Titans.
In the trade, the Falcons received a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick from Tennessee. The Titans get not only Jones (and all of his salary) but also get a sixth-round pick in 2023 from Atlanta.
Jones will obviously be a big boost to a team that ranked amongst the best in rushing but was sometimes inconsistent in its passing game. In fact, last year, they ranked 23rd in passing yards per game with 224.2, although they ranked ninth in passing touchdowns per game at two.
For Jones, the 32-year-old standout played in just nine games last season, but he still managed 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns.
His best season came back in 2015 when he had 136 catches for 1,871 yards and eight touchdowns. While those days are probably long gone, he still provides a legitimate target for Ryan Tannehill and adds to a wide receiver room already, including A.J. Brown and Josh Reynolds.
As an aside, Brown and Jones have already seemingly hit it off. Out of respect, Brown tried to give his jersey number (11) to Jones, who has worn that number his whole career, but Jones graciously turned down the offer. Instead, he will wear the number two this season.
Tennessee is currently +2800 to win Super Bowl LVI.
Ridley Undergoes Surgery
After the Falcons traded Julio Jones to the Titans, wide receiver, Calvin Ridley officially became the guy in Atlanta. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Ridley also made news this week as it was announced that he recently had a minor procedure on his foot.
Granted, this was not a major procedure; rather, it was simply a cleanup that should not keep him out from any meaningful football. Still, the Falcons need a healthy Ridley for their passing game to be effective this season.
Last season, the 26-year-old had 90 receptions for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns. While he was solid in his first two years, this was a big jump for the receiver.
Ridley should see an even further uptick in usage now that Jones is with the Titans. To help the passing game, the Falcons also took tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Frank Darby in the draft.
The Falcons are currently +5000 to win the Super Bowl this upcoming season.
Rodgers A No-Show At Packers’ Minicamp
It isn’t exactly a shocking development, but Aaron Rodgers has officially begun his holdout from the Green Bay Packers as he was a no-show for Packers’ minicamp, which started this week on Tuesday.
Rodgers has requested a trade from the Packers after being disgruntled for a variety of reasons with general manager Brian Gutekunst. Despite being the reigning MVP, he would like to finish his playing career elsewhere.
The real question is whether Green Bay will oblige him. To this point, they have not budged off of their stance that he is their quarterback, despite having drafted his eventual replacement last season in Jordan Love.
Still, this is a situation worth monitoring as the two sides are no closer to a resolution than the first day of the draft when the situation was first revealed to the public.
As it stands, Green Bay has just the eighth-best odds to win the Super Bowl this upcoming season at +1700, likely that low in large part due to the uncertainty of the situation.