Earlier this week, the Tennessee Titans pulled off one of the biggest trades this offseason, as they acquired star wide receiver Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons. Now, let’s examine this trade further.
In the trade, the Titans gave up a 2022 second-round pick, along with a 2023 fourth round pick, in exchange for Jones and a 2023 sixth-round pick. Due to Jones’ recent injury history, not to mention the $15.3 million he’s owed this season, Tennessee was able to give up less than one would imagine to land the 7-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, which they had no problem doing. With that in mind, there’s also the possibility that Jones could have his contract re-done, if he’s able to get back to Pro Bowl form in 2021. He did mention wanting to have a new contract with his new team.
On Wednesday, Titans GM Jon Robinson joined NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” and said that the addition of Jones is the perfect match for this offense. “When you’re able to get a player like Julio and can add him to the mix of our football team, what we try to do offensively, those don’t come around very often,” he quoted. “We thought it was a move that we needed to make for us. I know our fans are super stoked to have him here.”
Looking at the AFC South going into this season, Tennessee can now join the Indianapolis Colts as the two favorites to win the division. Should the Titans win it again, it would be back-to-back years for them, and wouldn’t they like that!
Despite not having a solid defense that still needs to be fixed, the Titans added more firepower offensively with Jones, which should make them one of the more dangerous and explosive offenses in the NFL. This is something that they had to do, since they lost WR Corey Davis and TE Jonnu Smith in free agency.
Now, with Julio Jones joining fellow wideout A.J. Brown on the outside as the top two receiving options, this duo should cause havoc for opposing defenses deciding what to do in coverage. If defenders are dropped, Tennessee has a monster in the backfield in Derrick Henry, who should have a field day running all over them! If defenses decide to stack the box and load up to stop Henry, they’ll get beat over the top by either Jones or Brown. Also, quarterback Ryan Tannehill should be able to take advantage of some favorable matchups that he’ll be able to see at the line of scrimmage.
If Julio can stay healthy as he ages and put up numbers similar or close to the ones he had in Atlanta, he should be an asset and a key contributor on offense while occasionally being double-teamed by defensive secondaries. As a Falcon, Jones finished his career with 848 receptions, 12,896 yards, and 60 touchdowns. He also led the league in receiving twice (2015, 2018) and holds the NFL average record with 96.0 receiving yards per game.
Overall, the trade is one that should help an already good Tennessee Titans team become even better. This puts them in a good spot to contend with some of the other top AFC teams, like the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and Baltimore Ravens. It will be interesting to see what happens with this team and their new look offense, but they should be fun to watch in 2021 and for the next few years at the very least. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the Super Bowl anytime soon!