In a move designed to help create cap space, the Atlanta Falcons traded star wide receiver, Julio Jones, to the Tennessee Titans.
The move gives the Titans a nucleus of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry, and wide receivers AJ Brown and the aforementioned Jones.
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) June 7, 2021
Is Julio Jones Trade A Game-Changer In AFC?
It doesn’t shift the power enough for the Titans in a very tough conference where you still have the Chiefs, Bills, Ravens, Browns, Colts and Steelers.
Unless the Titans can manufacture a pass rush, it doesn’t.
As a team, they had only (19 Sacks) last season. It’s amazing they won 11 games and the AFC South crown despite a non-existent pass rush which was really good in 2019-20, and helped lead them to the AFC Championship.
Having Derrick Henry makes up for a lot of other areas against most teams. But to beat those teams, you better be able to put pressure on their quarterback while also stopping or at least slowing down their running game.
Adding another playmaker, a Hall of Famer in the mold of Julio Jones is something you can’t pass up, when healthy he’s still elite and can help you anywhere on the field and especially in the red zone with his physicality.
He’ll also divert a lot of the coverage that Brown was expected to see after Tennessee lost both Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith in free agency.
Jones, a 10-year veteran, has been a stud and he’ll cost less than Davis on his fifth-year option.
Prolific Talent At Wide Receiver
Jones holds Falcons records with 848 catches, for 12,896 yards and his 60 touchdowns rank second. He had a career-best 136 catches for 1,871 yards in 2015.
He had six straight seasons with more than 1,300 yards receiving until being limited to nine games in 2020 by a nagging hamstring injury. He ranks first in NFL history in receiving yards per game (95.5) through 135 games. The next closest receiver is Calvin Johnson at just 86.1 receiving yards per game.
Falcons give Julio Jones a tribute video 🙏
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 6, 2021
He also ranks 20th in all-time in receiving yards, and fourth only behind Jerry Rice (76), Randy Moss (64), Marvin Harrison (59), for 100-yard receiving games with 58. Only Moss has a higher average pre-reception (15.6) than Jones (15.2) among all NFL players with at least 848 catches.
Stopping Kansas City & Buffalo On D Is Key
The Titans have been on the rise the last five seasons with five straight winning seasons, and that ranks only behind Seattle and Kansas City.
They lost to the Chiefs in the 2019 AFC Championship game. With Tannehill coming off a career-best 33 touchdown passes, the team believes Jones can only help. Only KC had more yards on offense, but the Titans’ success can be largely attributed to “King Henry” and his 2,027 yards rushing. Titans only averaged 228.3 yards passing per game which ranked 23rd in the NFL.
In the end, this move will really pays dividends in the play action game with Henry’s physical downhill running style. But again, it doesn’t move the meter past the other teams in the AFC unless they can be a more attacking and disruptive team on the defensive side of the football.
When the only teams that have fewer sacks than you are the Jaguars and Bengals, you must address that and in a big way.
Julio Jones is dope, but he doesn’t play defense.