NASHVILLE – A.J. Brown got his wish.
Same for Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and the majority of the team's fan base.
On Sunday, Titans agreed to trade terms with the Atlanta Falcons on a deal that will send receiver Julio Jones to Tennessee, pending a physical.
Brown and Tannehill, appearing as keynote speakers on Sunday at the Dinner of Champions for a Volunteers of America event at the Sonesta Nashville Airport Hotel, expressed their excitement after learning the news.
"This morning I looked at my phone, and my daughter was laying next to me … and I kind of jumped out of bed, and said, 'Is this really real?' I kind of woke my daughter up," Brown said with a big smile. "I had to calm down for a little bit. When I got the news, it was kind of crazy. My phone started blowing up. I think this is really huge for Tennessee, not just for me, but this is huge for the city, our team. We are glad to have him."
Brown spent the past few weeks campaigning for Jones, Atlanta's all-time career leader in receptions (848), receiving yards (12,896) and 100-yard receiving games (58), and his 60 touchdown receptions rank second.
Brown has long been an idol of Jones. In fact, after a game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium during the 2019 season, Brown exchanged No.11 jerseys with Jones while saying he models his game after the seven-time Pro Bowler. Brown said he picked No.11 in the NFL because of Jones after wearing No.1 at Ole Miss.
Before a game in Jacksonville during the 2020 season, Brown took the field in warmups wearing a No.11 Falcons jersey as a tribute to Jones.
Brown said he talked to Jones this morning. He's now considering giving up jersey No.11 to Jones in Tennessee.
"All the way up through college, he has been my favorite receiver, someone I've always looked up to," Brown said of Jones. "Just having someone like that in the locker room now, that I can just ask: 'What do I need to do here?' It is great. We talk all the time anyway, but having someone that close, and to see it on the field first-hand for yourself, it is great.
"To be honest, I have a picture in my locker of Julio, and I ask myself every day before I go out to practice: Don't let Julio outwork you, because that's how I measure myself up to the best receiver in the game. So to have him on the same (team) as me, it is going to raise my level of play, too, which is great."
Tannehill was especially fired up to find out the news as well.
"It is wild," Tannehill said. "I am excited, I am fired up. I didn't know if it was going to happen or not, and was kind of along for the ride like everybody else. My agent called me today and said it was going to happen.
"I am excited. How could you not be excited to play for a guy with the caliber of talent Julio is and has been for his whole career? I am excited to get to know him as a person and welcome him to the team."
A seven-time Pro Bowler, Jones is one of the top players in the league at his position.
A 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, Jones has 12,896 receiving yards and 60 touchdowns in his 10-year career, on 848 catches. He's caught over 100 passes in three of his seasons, and he had at least 80 catches and 1,300 yards in every year from 2014-19, with an average of 104 receptions for 1,565 yards during that time period.
"The city right now is electric, (fans) are pumped to get a guy like Julio Jones on the team," Brown said. "I think the team loves it, guys are reaching out. I think everyone is really pleased with it."