Tennessee Titans agree to trade terms with Falcons for star wide receiver Julio Jones
In the early weeks of the Julio Jones sweepstakes, the recruiting pitches to Jones from Tennessee Titans players – led by star wide receiver A.J. Brown – stood out from other teams. They brought entertainment in one of the quieter parts of the NFL offseason.
But now, after rampant speculation and rumors, the Falcons legend is actually headed to Nashville.
The Titans agreed to trade terms with the Falcons for Jones, pending a physical, the team announced Sunday. Tennessee receives Jones and a 2023 sixth-round pick, while Atlanta gets a 2022 second-round selection and a 2023 fourth-rounder.
With landing Jones, the Titans are filling their big hole at wide receiver in style.
Jones is one of the best receivers of his generation and a transcendent talent who, at 32, can still be a nightmare for opposing defenses. He missed seven games last season with a hamstring injury.
Standing 6-foot-3 and a chiseled 220 pounds with elite athleticism, Jones has been a dominant force in the NFL for a decade. He was the No. 6 overall pick by the Falcons in 2011 out of Alabama.
Jones is a seven-time Pro Bowler and a two-time first-team All-Pro selection. His 95.5 receiving yards per game for his career ranks No. 1 in NFL history, and he currently ranks 20th in league history in career receiving yards (12,896). But Jones also has taken pride in his blocking throughout career, making him on paper a great fit for the Titans.
The addition of Jones will give Tennessee one of the most star-studded casts of offensive skill players in the NFL. He'll join a Pro Bowl receiver in Brown, All-Pro running back Derrick Henry and quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the 2019 Comeback Player of the Year.
A Jones-Brown pairing gives new Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing opportunities to create favorable one-on-one matchups with his star receivers.
The Titans were one of the teams to show up most consistently in reports and rumors about Jones. There were few who seemed to be a better fit on paper than Tennessee, which lost wide receiver Corey Davis and tight end Jonnu Smith in free agency, and released slot receiver Adam Humphries.
The Titans also have a strong connection to the Falcons coaching staff. Atlanta coach Arthur Smith and defensive coordinator Dean Pees are former Titans coordinators under head coach Mike Vrabel. And with the Titans and Falcons being in opposite conferences, a Jones trade to Tennessee doesn’t pose an immediate threat for Atlanta.
In the early weeks of the Jones sweepstakes, Titans stars Henry, free safety Kevin Byard and left tackle Taylor Lewan all voiced their support for Jones coming to the Titans. But Brown was the obvious leader in the recruiting campaign.
The third-year receiver even made a TikTok video for Jones, attempting to sell him on the idea of how explosive the offense could be with him.
Brown also sent Jones an audio message through Instagram that he screen recorded and shared on social media.
“You say you want to win, right?” Brown started in the message to Jones. “We just need a couple more pieces.”
In trading for Jones, the Titans showed the NFL world they consider him the piece as they try to get over the hump toward Super Bowl contention.