The Tennessee Titans are not an NFL franchise that you ordinarily would expect to pull off one of the biggest trade deals of the summer.
However, in agreeing a trade with the Atlanta Falcons for wide receiver Julio Jones, they have precisely done that.
Having sent a 2022 Second and a 2023 Fourth Round draft pick to the Falcons, they have received the 32-year-old Jones, plus a Sixth Round draft pick in 2023, in return.
The Titans will take on the remainder of Julio Jones’ two-year contract, with $15.3 million guaranteed this season, and the move has allowed the Falcons to free up salary space to sign the players they took in the NFL Draft a couple of months back.
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Second-Best Offense Last Season
Jones is set to join one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. The Titans were tied second last season as the best offense in the league and while they lost wide receiver Corey Davis to the Jets in Free Agency, Jones offers a massive upgrade.
The Titans Offense next season looks a frightening prospect for any of their opponents. With the reinvigorated Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, the best running back in the league in Derrick Henry, who rushed for over 2,000 yards last season.
Add to that a receiving corps of A.J. Brown and his idol Julio Jones, not to mention Josh Reynolds signed in Free Agency, the Titans offense is stacked.
Speaking about the trade, which is still subject to Jones passing a medical, Titans GM Jon Robinson explained:
“When word got out that he might be available, I started looking at it, we look at him, coaches looked at him, how he might fit in offensively.”
“He’s big, he’s fast, he’s tough, he’s great with the ball in his hands, willing blockers. I think a lot of things we ask of our receivers, which all the locals know, it’s get open, catch and block. He certainly checks those boxes and has done it at a high level for a lot of years in the National Football League.”
It’s The Pitts For Falcons Fans
For the Atlanta Falcons, the move offers them more cap space to sign the players that they snapped up in the draft, including their first rounder, tight end Kyle Pitts.
Not only will Pitts now be able to sign a contract with the tea, he will also become a much more prominent aspect of the Falcons offense, given that he will likely be the player to receive the lions share of targets that would have otherwise gone to Jones.
Falcons fans are well-used to iconic Tight Ends after being the home for Tony Gonzalez for five years at the end of his career. In Pitts they have a player that has the potential to be as effective as the Hall of Famer.
After news of the Titans snapping up Jones to add to their offense broke, so the odds on the Titans reaching the Super Bowl and performing well in the AFC South began to fall.
With BetRivers PA, the Titans are now the +110 joint-favorites with the Indianapolis Colts to win the AFC South, while their odds on winning the AFC Championship have slimmed to +1200.
They are now +2500 to win the Super Bowl this year, easing in from around +3000 prior to the signing of Jones.
Mike Vrabel has led the Titans to winning seasons in each of the last three years and they reached the AFC Championship game back in 2019, the signing of Jones could well elevate them to being the biggest threat to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC.
Of course, much will depend on how healthy Jones is for the Titans. However, if they can get a full season of Jones and Brown at wide receiver, Henry at running back and Tannehill under center, then this Titans offense could be a major contender for top honors next season.