Titans Acquire Julio Jones
After weeks of rumors, the Titans have acquired Pro Bowl Receiver, Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons. After moving on from Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith over the offseason, the Titans seemed to lack pass catchers but now, they have acquired one of the greatest Receivers of all time.
The Falcon's compensation for Jones is a 2022 2nd round pick, a 4th round pick in 2023, and they are also giving the Titans back a 6th round pick in 2023. Another important detail is the cap hit.
The Titans are set to take on Jones' 2021 salary of $15.3m as well as the rest of his deal. This deal will put the Titans over the cap limit but they have a few days to restructure contracts to get them below the cap.
The main concern with Jones is his age of 32 and the hamstring injury that kept him out of 7 games in 2020. For reference, Randy Moss retired when he was 35, Jerry Rice when he was 44, and at 37, Larry Fitzgerald is still playing. Jones' injury, which was a nagging hamstring strain, leads NFL players to miss an average of 2.6 games, a favorable stat for Jones and the Titans. Unfortunately, Jones has had multiple injuries in the past which have ended up shortening 6 of his 10 seasons in the league.
This trade could end up being a steal for Tennessee for many reasons. Jones is among the best receivers of his generation and the stats back it up.
Jones is a seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time First team All-Pro. Throughout his career, Jones has averaged 95.5 Receiving Yards per Game, the highest in NFL history. Jones also has the 2nd most receiving yards in a single season from 2015 when he recorded 1,871 yards. Additionally, he averaged 2.7 yards per route last season which ranked 5th in the league. A.J. Brown had the third most receiving yards per route with 2.76 yards.
On the NFL's Top 100 Players List, which is voted on by the players, Jones has ranked in the top 15 for 6 straight seasons.
Jones reportedly wanted a "big-armed QB" on the team he would be traded to and he got just that with Tennessee. Jones wants to be able to out run Defensive Backs and get under the ball, something that Ryan Tannehill has been able to do over the last two seasons with A.J. Brown. On passes beyond 20 yards, Ryan Tannehill has a 49% completion rate which ranks 3rd in the league. Jones prior Quarterback, Matt Ryan, had a rate of 39%, the 19th highest in the league.
Julio Jones is a taller and slightly thinner version of A.J. Brown. He is a receiver you can trust to make a big play downfield against the odds. Even when he does not have the best positioning, Jones uses his size and incredible hands to go up and make some very difficult catches, similar to A.J. Brown last season. These two videos showcase Tannehill's arm well:
A.J. Brown was very active in the recruitment process of Julio Jones. Jones is Brown's idol and the trade is a very favorable move for Brown and the Titans. Pairing Jones with A.J. Brown forms the best WR Duo in the league and adds to an already talented offense. The Titans offense has the back to back NFL rushing leader, Derrick Henry, and Ryan Tannehill, who has been among the most efficient Quarterbacks in the league over the past two seasons and ranked 4th in Total QBR last season.
Overall, this move is great for the Titans as it adds an incredible player at a lacking position. With Tannehill, Henry, Brown, and now Jones, the Titans have one of, if not the most dangerous Offenses in the NFL.