It seems Julio Jones really was tricked into disclosing his future plans on live television last month.
"I have it on good authority that Jones had no clue that he was on national TV when he said to FS1’s Shannon Sharpe, 'I'm outta there' two weeks ago, which led to his trade request becoming public," Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported.
The incident came during Undisputed, when Sharpe called Jones on the phone while on the air:
It spurred intense discussion about the receiver for several weeks until he was eventually traded from the Atlanta Falcons to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
The 32-year-old had reportedly already asked for a trade months before the television appearance, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported. The situation also seemingly has a positive conclusion as he gets a fresh start with a presumed contender in 2021.
"I just talked to Julio an hour ago, and he’s fired up to get here and start working with his new guys," Titans general manager Jon Robinson said, per Peter King of NBC Sports.
The television appearance could have still alienated Jones from his teammates at the time, though, since he publicly revealed information that was previously private. The move also brings Sharpe's journalistic integrity into question if he didn't disclose that he was live on the air.
At the least, it could lead other players to think twice before answering when Sharpe calls in the future.