Report: Titans Add Seven-Time Pro-Bowler, Julio Jonesby Joe Heller June 6, 2021 2 comments
After much speculation, the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to trade disgruntled wide receiver, Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans. According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the deal is likely to become official in the next 24-48 hours.
The Falcons are expected to trade Julio Jones to the Titans barring any setbacks in the next 24-48 hours, per sources. The 2 sides still are finalizing compensation but, as one source said, “I feel very good about this happening” If there are no snags, the trade official Monday.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) June 6, 2021
Adam Schefter has the official compensation and trade details.
Official compensation update: Falcons will get a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick for Julio Jones and a sixth-round pick in 2023. Trade now official.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 6, 2021
Titans players A.J. Brown and Derrick Henry have been heavily recruiting Jones via social media. There was also speculation last season that Jones was being shopped leading up to the trade deadline. Tennessee was rumored to be interested, but the Falcons didn’t pull the trigger. In hindsight, they may have gotten more in return if they had.
Brown has been the most adamant. He has been vocal about Jones being his idol since he came into the NFL. His breakout game in his rookie season was against none other than Jones and the Falcons. He said that he modeled his game after him and he is the reason he wears No. 11. Although with this move he will likely give up his number.
Julio to Tennessee now! pic.twitter.com/ixZNV7fApB— AJ Brown (@1kalwaysopen_) May 26, 2021
AFC on Notice
Opposing defenses already had to gameplan for Henry. Very few defenses have had consistent luck at stopping or slowing down the back-to-back rushing champion. Brown, who is entering just his third NFL season, has quickly become a borderline elite receiver. Ryan Tannehill, since taking over the starting quarterback duties, has rejuvenated not only the Titans’ offense under his leadership but also his own career. Many believed he was done when the Miami Dolphins gave up on him, just two years after giving him a huge extension.
The Titans lost wide receiver Corey Davis, who had the best year of his career in 2020, and tight end Jonnu Smith, who was an integral part of the passing game this offseason. Although they did sign former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Josh Reynolds to fill the void at receiver, many feared that they didn’t do enough to improve that area of the offense.
Jones will definitely fill that void. Defenses will be leery to stack the box to slow down the Henry Express when they see Jones line up on one side and Brown on the other. Reynolds will slide over to the slot where he had most of his success with the Rams.
Super Bowl or Bust
Now that they have landed Jones, the expectations are even higher for the team that has made the playoffs the last two seasons. After losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019 in the AFC Championship Game, they couldn’t make it out of the Wildcard Round last season, as they lost to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
The team and their fan base heading into the upcoming season already had postseason aspirations, even after losing offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, who left to become the head coach of the Falcons, coincidentally. New coordinator Todd Downing has been in the system so not much is expected to change as far as gameplan.
The biggest question marks this offseason were on the defensive side of the ball. The Titans have lacked a pass rush, which was the biggest obstacle keeping them from getting to the next level. Their secondary was revamped this offseason after Malcolm Butler and Adoree’ Jackson became salary cap casualties.
The addition of Jones on an offense that was among the highest-scoring in the NFL last season makes them likely to score even more points. That will take some of the pressure off of the defense, as the new components like Janoris Jenkins and Bud Dupree get familiar with players like Jeffery Simmons, Harold Landry, and Kevin Byard who have been there.
Anything less than playing the Super Bowl 56, or at the very least an AFC Championship Game appearance will cause this deal to be considered a failure. The stakes are high for the Titans, but they are that much higher for Jones himself.
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