The Bucs have already added one former Atlanta Falcons receiver to the team this offseason.
But could they add another?
Should they add another?
According to Sportsline, the Bucs have the third-highest odds to land the former All-Pro receiver at +500. The only teams ahead of them are the Colts and the Packers. The Colts, for obvious reasons with former Falcons QB Matt Ryan, have odds at +300. The Packers, who are devoid of proven wide receivers, are at +400.
The 33-year old receiver has made over $140 million over his 12 seasons in the league. Jones made seven Pro Bowls and five All-Pro teams. While leading the league in receiving yards twice and finished tied with the most receptions once. He was also named to the 2010 All-Decade team. The only thing Jones doesn’t have on his resume is a Super Bowl championship. Thanks to Tom Brady, coincidentally.
Former Falcons WR Julio Jones – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
With question marks surrounding the timetable of Chris Godwin’s return the Bucs while rehabbing his knee injury could find themselves short-handed to start the season. Tampa Bay re-signed Breshad Perriman and still have Cyril Grayson, Jr., Tyler Johnson, Jaelon Darden and Scotty Miller on the roster. Though, it would be tough to rely on any of them to fill in as the third receiver for an extended period of time.
One has to wonder the mindset of Jones as he enters the twilight of his career. Sure, he has the chemistry with Ryan going back to their Atlanta days. But are the Colts true contenders for a title, especially in a loaded AFC conference?
Rodgers remains one of the league’s elite quarterbacks and there may be a clearer path to playing time. Although the Packers have lost considerable talent this offseason. After playing nearly his entire career in a domed stadium does he really want to play in the frigid tundra of Lambeau Field to finish his career?
And how much does Jones have left in the tank? After recording 99 catches for 1,394 yards and six touchdowns in 2019, which was his final Pro Bowl season, Jones has succumbed to injuries. He played just nine games in his final season in Atlanta in 2020. That year, Jones recorded only 51 catches for 771 yards and three TDs.
The Falcons traded him to Tennessee last year where he underwhelmed, got hurt and was released after just one season. Jones had just 31 catches for 434 yards and one score in 10 games with the Titans – the lowest numbers of his career. The feeling around the league is that Jones can’t run anymore, evidenced by little interest in him during free agency.
There were reports earlier that Brady had reached out to Jones, but the credibility of said report is questionable. If Jones is looking to cement his legacy with a Super Bowl ring there’s little doubt the Bucs shouldn’t be one of his top choices. However, he’ll need to take a steep pay cut to do so.
If Jones could stay healthy and could somehow get back to his old form there’s no doubt he could contribute to the team’s success. Even after Godwin returns from injury.