Titans To Release Julio Jones

The Titans will make Julio Jones a one-and-done in Tennessee. The future Hall of Fame wide receiver will be released, Dianna Russini and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com report (on Twitter).

Tennessee traded a second-round pick for Jones last year, but the longtime Atlanta star could not shake the hamstring trouble that plagued him during his final Falcons season. If the Titans do not designate Jones as a post-June 1 cut, they will take on more than $13MM in dead money. The Titans are, in fact, using the June 1 designation Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This will save the team more than $9MM this year.

While this will make Jones a first-time free agent, he is not hitting the market with momentum. The All-Decade wideout ripped off a record-setting stretch from 2014-19, surpassing 1,390 yards in each season and making six straight Pro Bowls. But injury absences began to pile up in 2020. That proved to be a bad sign for the Titans, who could only get 10 games out of the high-level trade acquisition.

Jones caught just 31 passes for 434 yards — both career-low marks; even Jones’ five-game 2013 season produced better numbers — and saw his hamstring injury keep leading to missed time. Tennessee’s Jones-A.J. Brown tandem did not come to fruition, with Brown also struggling on the health front. But Brown will be due a big payday soon. Jones’ Falcons-constructed contract will no longer be part of the Titans’ equation at that point.

Having turned 33 this offseason, Jones may attract some interest. Draft classmate A.J. Green managed to land a reasonable Cardinals deal despite an injury-marred ending to his Bengals run. Any Jones contract figures to be a fairly low-cost deal, however. He signed a $22MM-per-year extension with the Falcons in 2019; two years remained on that pact prior to Wednesday’s move.

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