As we all know, Julio Jones was released by the Titans early in free agency. I for one am not happy about this decision for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, the Titans traded a 2022 2nd round pick along with a 2023 4th round pick to the Falcons in exchange for Julio Jones and a 2023 6th round pick. With the release of Jones the Titans wasted a 2nd round pick in this year’s draft that the desperately need now, along with a mid-round pick in next year’s draft that may ultimately not matter but still is unfortunate to lose.
I know the money saved from releasing Jones probably helped in our cap situation but in my eyes doesn’t justify his release simply because of the draft picks lost in addition to a now depleted wide receiver room that currently is missing star receiver AJ Brown as well due to a holdout. Jon Robinson should’ve known before trading for Julio worst case scenario things don’t work out and we release him to have some sort of safety net to protect the team like maybe not paying the full contract of Julio, or not trading as much as we did, or maybe getting a little extra back in exchange for Jones.
As previously mentioned the wide receiver room now looks absolutely bare and heading into next season this group needs a massive upgrade on multiple levels. I know there is still the draft but let’s not forget that last year’s draft Jon Robinson traded multiple picks to draft Dez Fitzpatrick who did little to nothing and also drafted Racey McMath who did little as well. Given the current cap situation we don’t have the money to sign a replacement either. In an already thin wide receiver room, the release of Jones and absence of Brown makes it that much worse.
If anyone watched the Titans games last year you can tell that Jones was mostly used as a decoy and was not utilized very much at all into the offense and into the passing game. Todd Downing barely used Jones in the passing game and Ryan Tannehill didn’t look like he had very good rapport with Jones which also limited his targets in their games. Many times Jones wouldn’t be on the field in situations that he should’ve been, most notably the play of Ryan Tannehill’s last interception in the divisional round game against the Bengals.
His best game as a Titan was easily the week two game at Seattle where you saw how although he might not be in his prime anymore he is still very much a good receiver. I know that he didn’t play very much this year and his stats were below average but Julio Jones still looked good when he was on the field.
With the way things ended for Julio I can’t help but feel that this may deter free agents or big name players to play in Nashville. Theoretically Tennessee should be a destination for players who want a ring but nobody really desires to play in Nashville. We saw legends like Randy Moss and Andre Johnson come to Nashville and barely did anything. To be fair they were mostly past their primes but at the time the Titans also didn’t know how to utilize them either. I feel apologetic to Jones as throughout the season he never complained and did whatever was asked of him to support the team and ultimately this was the end of his time here. I wish him nothing but the best moving forward.