The Tennessee Titans acquired seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones last offseason with two things in mind. To find a veteran pass-catcher for Ryan Tannehill and to help youngster A.J. Brown grow into a leading role.
After one season and just 10 games with the team, this experiment has come to a shocking end. ESPN’s Dianna Russini and Adam Schefter report that the Titans have opted to release Jones just as the new league year started Wednesday afternoon.
Jones first and only season with the Titans was a disaster. The 33-year-old wide receiver caught 31 passes for 434 yards and a mere one touchdown in 10 games. He struggled to stay healthy after an injury-plagued final season with his original Atlanta Falcons team.
Tennessee Titans cap situation after releasing Julio Jones
The Titans have opted to release Jones with a post-June 1 designation. This means that they’ll save a whopping $11.51 million against the 2022 NFL salary cap. Tennessee was just $700,000 under the cap before making this surprising decision.
Remember, the Titans re-signed stud pass rusher Harold Landry to a five-year, $87.5 million extension before he was set to officially hit free agency Wednesday afternoon.
Potential Julio Jones landing spots
- San Francisco 49ers: This makes the most sense. San Francisco was in on Jones last offseason before he was dealt from Atlanta to Tennessee. The star wide receiver has a built-in relationship with head coach Kyle Shanahan dating back to their days with the Falcons. If the price point is right, Jones could be headed to Northern California.
- New England Patriots: It goes without saying that New England is still looking for a veteran to help young quarterback Mac Jones. Bill Belichick and Co. have been linked to numerous players on the trade block and are looking to upgrade from Nelson Agholor.
- Denver Broncos: Fresh off acquiring Russell Wilson in a blockbuster trade, it might make sense for the Broncos to buy low on Julio Jones. The only question here is fit. Denver boasts studs Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. Tim Patrick has also played well over the past two seasons (1,476 receiving yards).
- Las Vegas Raiders: Could new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels push for Vegas to sign Jones? The team certainly needs more veteran depth at wide receiver for Derek Carr following the Henry Ruggs tragedy and ensuing release.