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#pounditSunday, October 24, 2021

Articles tagged: Julio Jones

Gene Steratore explains why Julio Jones TD was overturned

Julio Jones TD review

The Tennessee Titans were victims of a controversial replay decision in Sunday’s game that cost Julio Jones a ridiculous touchdown catch.

Jones made a leaping catch in the back of the end zone during the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. At first glance, he appeared to get both feet down, and the call on the field was a touchdown.

On review, however, the call on the field was overturned, and the pass was ruled incomplete. That did not sit well with the Titans’ Twitter account.

CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore explained why the call was overturned. Jones definitely got the toe of the second foot down in bounds, but in order for the call to stand, Jones needed to get his whole foot down in the green. The toe-tap rule does not apply, as more than Jones’ toe made contact with the ground.

Even with that in mind, there is some confusion at the call being overturned. It was a touchdown on the field, and it wasn’t clear that there was anything definitive on replay to change that. The officials clearly saw things differently.

It’s confirmation that, even in 2021, it’s still hard to figure out what is and isn’t a catch in the NFL. It’s somewhat bizarre that catches like this count, but Jones’ did not.

Julio Jones fined for penalty that had Mike Vrabel ticked

Julio Jones

Julio Jones was fined on Saturday for a penalty committed in Week 1 that had his head coach ticked off.

Jones pushed Tennessee back from a 3rd-and-1 to a 3rd-and-16 with a personal foul he committed while his Titans were down 10-0 to Arizona (you can see it here). Had Tennessee converted the 3rd-and-1, they would have had a better shot at curbing Arizona’s momentum. Instead, they ended up punting. They lost 38-13.

On Saturday, the NFL fined Jones $10,815 for his unnecessary roughness penalty.

The NFL is trying to crack down this season on taunting. They also are fining players for unsportsmanlike conduct, such as Jones’ penalty.

So not only did Julio cost his team, but he also cost himself some money in the process. The 32-year-old receiver is in his first season with the Titans and had three catches for 29 yards in his debut with the team.

Mike Vrabel harshly critical of Julio Jones for ‘dumb’ penalty

Mike Vrabel

Julio Jones had a forgettable debut with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, and his most crucial mistake was a mental one. Mike Vrabel is not letting his Pro Bowl receiver off the hook for it.

The Titans were trying to respond after the Arizona Cardinals jumped out to an early 10-0 against them, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from Jones made it even more difficult to do that. Tennessee would have had a 3rd-and-1, but Jones turned it into 3rd-and-16 when he got into it with a defensive player. You can see the video below:

Ryan Tannehill threw an incomplete pass on the next play. The Titans punted the ball back rather than killing Arizona’s momentum in an eventual 38-13 blowout. Vrabel ripped Jones when asked about the penalty on Monday. Beware that the video contains a curse word:

“That’s absolutely nothing that we coach or teach. That would fall under the category of doing dumb s— that hurts the team, right there in bold letters,” Vrabel said.

Vrabel could have deflected and talked about the Titans having an all-around terrible day, but he clearly wanted to send a message to Jones.

Jones caught just three passes for 29 yards on six targets. He also dropped two balls, one of which was intercepted after bouncing off his hands.

There was plenty of blame to go around for the Titans, and one of their best players acknowledged that. Vrabel was probably more bothered by Jones’ penalty than his play.

Exclusive: Julio Jones, Roddy White sued by cannabis company for alleged fraud, money laundering

Julio Jones

Julio Jones and Roddy White are being sued by a cannabis company for alleged fraud and money laundering, among other allegations.

A cannabis business called “Genetix” filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on July 21 that names Jones, White and White’s company “SLW Holdings, Inc.” as one of the defendants.

Genetixs, which is comprised of five members including White’s SLW company, says they obtained a cannabis license from the Department of Cannabis Regulation through its Social Equity Program.

The business says it intended to take part in a legal cannabis operation, following the guidelines in California.

Genetixs leased a facility in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. in Feb. 2020 where they intended to cultivate and grow cannabis in accordance with state regulations. However, the complaint alleges that things went wrong when Genetixs hired a man named John Van Beek to oversee the buildout and management of their facility.

Not only is Van Beek accused of charging excessive money for the buildout and giving money to his son’s construction company, but he also allegedly began to breach his duties. Genetixs accuses Van Beek of failing to provide budgets, expenditures, invoices, and other business-related paperwork. State inspections of the facility made note of numerous violations at the facility. Van Beek was terminated in March, 2021.

Genetixs alleges that Jones and White, who were teammates on the Atlanta Falcons for five years, went behind the company’s back to work with the Van Beeks. The Van Beeks allegedly cultivated and grew cannabis for sale on the illegal black market, enriching themselves and Jones and White. The Van Beeks disconnected cameras in the facility, began squatting there, and prevented a new manager from entering the facility, according to the complaint.

The suit says the Van Beeks have not reported sales to Genetixs since March. Genetixs estimate about $3 million in cannabis has been harvested and sold illegally per month since then.

The Van Beeks, in connection with White and Jones, allegedly abandoned the Genetixs Cannabis Facility and surrendered the premises to the landlord. Before doing so, they allegedly “looted, removed, and misappropriated” Genetixs’ cannabis derived from more than 22 harvests. They allegedly removed and misappropriated machinery, equipment, and fixtures located within the facility that are worth millions.

Jones, White, SLW, the Van Beeks, and other defendants are being sued on grounds of conspiracy to defraud, aiding and abetting, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract.

Genetixs is seeking general, punitive and exemplary damages, and injunctive relief.

Rafe Emanuel, the lawyer representing SLW Holdings and Roddy White and Julio Jones, told Larry Brown Sports that the allegations are “meritless.”

“The vague allegations against SLW Holdings, LLC, and its members, Roddy White and Julio Jones, are meritless. In May, SLW obtained a temporary restraining order in a related civil case to prevent unlawful conduct involving Genetixs, LLC. In reply, the defendants argued conspiracy theories that were not proven by evidence in Court, nor were they substantiated before any agency. We look forward to again defending these conspiracy theories against my clients in Court,” Emanuel said in a statement.

White, 39, played for the Atlanta Falcons from 2005-2015, making four Pro Bowls as a wide receiver. His career earnings were approximately $65 million. Jones was a wide receiver for the Falcons from 2011-2020. He was traded to the Tennessee Titans this offseason. His career earnings thus far total $125 million. Larry Brown Sports has reached out to the representatives for Jones and White seeking a comment and response.

Additionally, White tells Larry Brown Sports that the allegations are “completely false.” He says he did a background check and learned that two of the people involved with Genetixs are felons who put the company’s cannabis license in jeopardy. He says they are trying to have the men removed from the company, and that their attempt to remove the men spurred the legal complaint in response. White states that he and Jones financed Genetixs from start to finish, and therefore they would have no reason to steal from themselves.

Julio Jones not worried about stats decreasing with Titans

Julio Jones

For many years, Julio Jones was the key man in the Atlanta Falcons offense. In 2021, he’ll go to a team where he’s arguably not even the No. 1 wide receiver.

Jones’ trade to the Tennessee Titans likely means fewer targets for the standout wide receiver. The Titans also have to make sure A.J. Brown gets his share of targets, all while simultaneously ensuring that star running back Derrick Henry gets plenty of touches as well. Fortunately, the prospect of a slightly smaller role in the offense isn’t bothering Jones.

“At the end of the day, you want to create a winning culture. However you need to do it, you have to get the job done,” Jones said, via Turron Davenport of ESPN. “My whole career, I’ve never been a stat guy. I’m a team guy. Whatever they need from me I’m going to do, and I will enjoy playing my role at a high level.”

It’s the ideal mindset from the Titans’ standpoint. It probably helps in a certain sense that he was already increasingly sharing targets with Calvin Ridley during his final seasons in Atlanta, so he’s prepared to be a secondary option if he has to be. Still, he got at least 148 targets in three of his last four seasons with the Falcons, so it’s going to be an adjustment.

In case you need more proof that Jones is getting along great with his new counterpart in Brown, just check out the thinking that went into Jones’ new jersey number.

Julio Jones explains how he chose new jersey number

Julio Jones

Julio Jones could have kept the same jersey number in Tennessee that he has worn throughout his entire NFL career, but he has instead chosen to wear No. 2 with the Titans. We now have a better idea of how he arrived at that decision.

Titans wide receiver AJ Brown, who currently wears No. 11, openly offered to give the number up for Jones after Tennessee acquired the seven-time Pro Bowler in a trade. Jones decided to let Brown keep the number, and he told reporters on Thursday that the two star wideouts came up with No. 2 for Jones together.

Jones and Brown could each see less volume than they’re accustomed to because of the presence of one another, but they seem thrilled to be teammates. Brown has long been an admirer of Jones, which he showed with a classy tribute to Jones prior to a game last year.

Opposing defenses are going to have an extremely difficult time keeping both Jones and Brown under wraps this season. The wide receiver duo seems to be very much looking forward to that.

DeAndre Hopkins has interesting take on trade value of WRs

DeAndre Hopkins

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins certainly doesn’t think the NFL values him much in the trade market.

A year after Hopkins was traded to Arizona for running back David Johnson and second- and fourth-round picks, the Tennessee Titans also acquired Julio Jones without giving up a first-rounder. Hopkins reads into that a bit, suggesting that the league doesn’t view them as first-round worthy despite their lofty accomplishments.

“We’re not worth first-round picks, that the first-round picks better than us,” Hopkins said. “I would like to see a first-round pick who could do what Julio and myself do.”

To be clear, trade value is determined by lots of things. In Jones’ case, it was that the Falcons desperately needed to free up cap space. With Hopkins, it seemed his then-coach just wanted to be rid of him. Production was really a secondary concern at that point.

Julio Jones turned down classy offer from new teammate AJ Brown

AJ Brown

Julio Jones has worn No. 11 since he made his NFL debut in 2011, and his new teammate AJ Brown gave him an opportunity to keep that jersey number with the Tennessee Titans. Jones respectfully declined.

Brown tweeted on Tuesday that he is going to wear No. 11 until he retires. He said he offered the number to Jones but Jones turned it down.

Jones wore No. 8 when he played at Alabama, so it’s possible he could go back to that number. He may also opt to start fresh with a brand new number in a new city.

Brown said over the weekend that he was working to change numbers because he wanted Jones to be able to keep No. 11. The 23-year-old has always been an admirer of Jones, and he proved that with a very public show of respect for Jones prior to a game last season.

Jalen Ramsey is not happy about Rams not pursuing Julio Jones

Jalen Ramsey

There might be some NFL players a bit perplexed that their teams failed to land Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons. Jalen Ramsey is one of them.

Ramsey tweeted Sunday questioning why the Los Angeles Rams had not given up what it took to get a “generational talent.” Ramsey added that acquiring Jones would have made the Rams “unstoppable” and was clearly frustrated at the Rams being reported as out of the running.

On paper, this reaction makes sense. The Tennessee Titans only needed to part with a second- and fourth-round pick to land Jones. That said, there’s a reason for that. The Falcons were desperate to get Jones’ $15.3 million salary off the books, and compromising on that part of the deal was not an option. According to OverTheCap, the Rams only have slightly more than $7 million in cap space available, so they would have had to do some serious maneuvering to make a Jones acquisition possible.

The Rams and several other teams had the same reason for shying away from a Jones trade. That might not satisfy Ramsey, but it’s still a business, after all.

Report: Julio Jones was blindsided by Shannon Sharpe phone call

Shannon Sharpe

Julio Jones did something out of character last month when he revealed on live television that he wanted the Atlanta Falcons to trade him. As it turns out, the All-Pro wide receiver did not realize he was taking his trade request public.

Shannon Sharpe called Jones during FS1’s “UNDISPUTED” about two weeks ago and asked him if he wanted to remain with the Falcons. The Pro Bowler, who was on speakerphone, emphatically said, “I’m outta there man.” That was his first public admission that he wanted a trade after months of speculation. You can see the video here.

Many wondered if Jones did not realize he was on the air, and Albert Breer of The MMQB says he is certain that was the case. Breer wrote in his weekly column on Monday that he has it “on good authority that Jones had no clue he was on national TV.”

That makes perfect sense. The Falcons were actively working to trade Jones at the time and undoubtedly wanted the roughly $15 million in salary cap relief they got when they sent the 32-year-old to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The situation was nothing like what Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are dealing with, which is the reason no one understood why Jones would complicate things by talking about it on the air.

It’s unclear if there was a misunderstanding or if Sharpe simply neglected to tell Jones he was on speakerphone during a live TV show. One recent report claimed the incident has become a mess for FOX. Technically, Sharpe may have broken a California law with the phone call.

While we don’t expect Jones to file a formal complaint against Sharpe, he probably is not happy.

This is the second major flub for Sharpe this year. He also recently embarrassed himself when he used a fake quote in an attempt to call out Kevin Durant.