How Does Julio Jones Fit with the Buccaneers?

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made headlines on Tuesday by signing former All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones to a one-year contract.

Jones, coming off an injury-riddled stint with the Tennessee Titans, joins Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage to bolster one of the best wide receiver units in the NFL.

The Buccaneers are no strangers to signing talented wide receivers others have written off. Less than two years ago, they signed Antonio Brown, who was important in their Super Bowl run in 2020.

While he is not the same receiver he once was, Buccaneers fans are well aware of Jones’ capabilities. Against Tampa Bay, Jones has 114 catches for 1,841 yards and 11 touchdowns. That is a full season worth of play and would’ve ranked second in the NFL in yards last year.

However, those statistics are from the prime of his career. More recently, Jones has struggled to stay on the field and produce at a high level. Those on-field struggles and injuries have made it so people are questioning Jones’ ability. However, the Buccaneers do not need him to be a top-2 wide receiver.

Jones is entering a situation where he can be a complementary piece that just adds talent to an already elite room. Evans and Godwin are the mainstays in this offense that have been and will be productive at an elite level. Free agent addition Russell Gage, a teammate of Jones’ in Atlanta, will be splitting third wide receiver reps with Jones, creating a no-pressure situation for him with the Buccaneers.

The addition of Jones means there will be one less roster spot available for a depth receiver. Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Jaelon Darden, Breshad Perriman, Cyril Grayson and rookie Deven Thompkins are now all in the hot seat.

Buccaneers fans should not expect to see the 2016 version of Jones on the field. Jones does not need to be Superman to help this team. Allow him to be a third or fourth wide receiver and it will be more than enough.

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