Veteran wide receiver Julio Jones has a new home, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday.
The seven-time Pro Bowler gives soon-to-be 45-year-old Tom Brady another weapon in Tampa, Florida, as Jones looks to rebound from a down season with the Tennessee Titans.
Jones joins a receiver group with the Bucs that includes holdovers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller and Breshad Perriman, and welcomed Russell Gage — like Jones, another former Falcon — this offseason. Godwin is recovering from a torn ACL suffered late last season, and the Bucs plan to take things slowly with him as he comes back from offseason knee surgery, so Jones’ signing gives them the ability to do that.
Tampa Bay also brought on veteran Kyle Rudolph last week, a move to shore up his tight end spot in the wake of Rob Gronkowski’s retirement.
The Titans released Jones in March, just one season after acquiring him in a trade from the Falcons.
Tennessee dealt two draft picks to acquire him last year, hoping he would provide much-needed balance to his passing attack. However, he appeared in just 10 games because of injuries and had career lows with 31 receptions for 434 yards and just one touchdown reception. It was the second straight season in which Jones was limited by injury. He appeared in just nine games for the Falcons in 2020.
The Falcons drafted Jones sixth overall in 2011, sending multiple picks to the Cleveland Browns to be able to take the Alabama standout. Atlanta, when it moved up to acquire Jones, traded its first-round pick in 2011 (No. 26), its second-round pick, two fourth-round picks and its 2012 first-round pick.
Jones, 33, is the Falcons’ career leader in catches (848) and yards (12,896) and is second to Roddy White in touchdown receptions (63). His 91.9 receiving yards per game is the best per-game average in NFL history.
He also leads the NFL in receiving yards since 2014, and Evans leads the NFL in touchdown catches (75) during that span. Now, they’re both on the same team.
Also Tuesday, the Bucs waived tight end Codey McElroy with an injury designation. A source told ESPN that McElroy will undergo foot surgery this week after dealing with the injury during the offseason.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine contributed to this report.