Although the Buccaneers have two Pro Bowl wide receivers and gave former Falcon Russell Gage a $10MM-per-year deal this offseason, they are not stopping here at wide receiver. A rather notable ex-Gage teammate is coming to Tampa.
The Bucs reached a one-year agreement with Julio Jones on Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. He will team with Gage, his Atlanta teammate of three seasons, along with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in what will be another decorated Tampa Bay receiver stable. Jones committed to the Bucs for $6MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The deal can be worth up to $8MM.
This news comes shortly after Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times noted Godwin will not start camp on the Bucs’ active/PUP list (Twitter link). It would certainly have been understandable if Godwin, who suffered a torn ACL in December and underwent surgery Jan. 3, eased into camp work. But the former Pro Bowler will not require a roster move to begin practice. Coupled with the Jones addition, the Bucs will have one of the most accomplished wideout groups in modern NFL history.
While Tampa Bay signing an All-Decade wideout to pair with Tom Brady is not exactly new, given the team’s multiyear partnership with Antonio Brown, Jones brings none of the off-field baggage Brown does. That said, Brown displayed a higher performance level than Jones last season. Jones has seen hamstring trouble sidetrack his career, leading to an absence-laden Titans season and a several-month free agency stay — after Tennessee made the 2021 trade acquisition a cap casualty in March. The Bucs will still take a flier on the player who ripped off the most prolific six-year stretch by a receiver in NFL history.
Jones’ 9,388 receiving yards from 2014-19 are the most in a six-season span ever, but in the 2020s, the former perennial Pro Bowler has missed 14 games. Most of those absences came because of hamstring trouble. Jones’ hamstring issues led him to Tennessee’s IR list in 2021, a season in which he finished with 31 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown. Those were easily career-worst totals for the future Hall of Famer, but the Bucs will attempt to coax a bounce-back effort in Jones’ age-33 season.
The Bucs are making this signing despite rostering Scotty Miller, Breshad Perriman, 2021 fourth-round pick Jaelon Darden and 2020 fifth-round pick Tyler Johnson as well. Miller’s rookie-contract contributions notwithstanding, he is not a lock to make Tampa Bay’s roster. The same can probably be said for Jones, who will need to show — at least during camp and the preseason — he can submit a stretch of healthy work to be part of this talented receiving corps. Jones staying healthy during the preseason should all but assure him a spot on this roster.
35 comments on “Buccaneers To Sign WR Julio Jones”
They’ll be lucky to get 6 games out of him.
On the bright side, at least he’ll be coming off the field for a legitimate reason, rather than throwing a tantrum and making a fool of himself. Don’t under estimate the value of having all your teammates be mentally stable.
One of my favorite broadcasters was Paul Maguire who once said “You don’t have to be mentally unbalanced to be a special teams player…but it certainly helps”.
As long as those 6 games are 3 in the playoffs and 3 regular season who cares
Cowboys missed out
The only QB for whom Julio Jones will play decently at this point is Tom Brady. I wouldn’t even expect much productivity out of him in Green Bay.
why? GB has the best QB in nfl past 2 seasons
Wow. Anyone think he will be fantasy viable?
Maybe late rounds I like Gage more
Nice, it depends how Julio looks in camp too though. If anybody’s work is getting cut into it’s his most likely (when Godwin returns). Definitely won’t affect Evans
about as viable as he was last season….
I don’t see why he’d be an everyday pick, but more in the sense that it will be inconsistent. The sheer magnitude of former All-Pros on that team will force Jones wide open on at least several plays. He may not be a volume patch catcher (Jones will likely be at best the fourth option behind Evans, Godwin, and/or Gage and Brate), but he’s still a HoF wide receiver and will force the defense to account for him whenever he comes on the field-unless Jones shows early on that he’s useless (which I doubt, and even then, it might take a while for teams to fully believe that).
I thought he might end up as a desperation swing for a team that really needs a #1 or #2 receiver, but instead he fills the Gronk role of “You can’t count on him staying healthy or productive, but he might offer little flashes of his hall of fame peak.” If he does nothing, they’re plenty solid at receiver. No real downside.
Am I missing something? “desperation swing… #1or #2?” What would you call Mike Evans?
A #1. I think you misread my meaning. I thought he might go to a team like Green Bay or Baltimore that doesn’t have a true #1 or arguably #2, hoping he could fill the roll he filled in his prime, as opposed to TB, where they’ll be fine if he’s toast.
You misread what they said.
I thought Green Bay was gonna sign him. Rodgers will yet again have an underwhelming WR corp.
I thought we all knew GB wasn’t signing any of the big names the talking heads tried so desperately to link them to. Who’s left? OBJ..? Don’t see that happening either. If they get really desperate, I’d say they’re more likely to try and talk Jordy Nelson, James Jones or Donald Driver out of retirement than grab him.
Rodgers won’t put up with a HoF receiver moving at 70%. Brady will know how to use Jones’s good hands and sly route running just right. Brady will even encourage Jones to be careful not to pull a hamstring, just catch the ball and fall on the first down side of the sticks.
Jesus Christ. Stacking enough chips to fill voids. Money ball tom Brady affect and cap manipulation. If this works. I’d be surprised.
Could be the perfect situation for him. Doesn’t need to be on the field all the time. I could see him being a nice red zone weapon for Tom. Smart move by Julio
Julio Jones has been almost useless in the red zone for the last nine years where he has averaged 1193 yards per season but just 4.6 TDs. Great for moving the sticks but somehow ineffective in the red zone. There were multiple seasons where commentators were wondering if Jones would snag even two touchdowns before the end of the season.
Brady is going to be so pissed when Rodgers takes yet another MVP from him.
Ffs Get ready for Julio to turn back the clock and become a pro bowler this season
Looks like Brady wasn’t happy with his third down options. Jones might be just the answer, as he is likely to stay healthy if he only plays 16-20 downs every game.
Worst case scenario, Julio has always been a skilled and willing blocker. Maybe catch some balls, make some blocks. No one needs him to be a star anymore.
I think Julio would be an interesting candidate to transition to TE … he could possibly extend his career … he has size , even at his age he’d be one of the most athletic TEs …. Yeah he wouldn’t block like a TE should but it would be interesting.
Jones is not built like a tight end. Jones is a blocking wide receiver with good hands, just as he always has been.
Washed up as a receiver. Him and AJ Green … both great in their time but they are toast.
Julio Jones has great hands and can leap high. As a possession receiver on third downs with faster men on the field, Jones still has value. Forget about deep balls, foot races and TD passes though.
Guitar strings for hamstrings.
Take the under for his season yards and bet your house on it.
He’ll get injured getting out of bed in training camp, way past his prime.
I be calling this ni99a swift
Heard on a former NFL player’s podcast that in addition to now being injury prone Julio can no longer get open like he used to – which explains why Tennessee had no interest in re-signing him and why he was available so late in free agency.