Watch out, Tampa Bay and Kansas City.
An offense that features a 2,000-yard rusher in Derrick Henry and a premier pass catcher in A.J. Brown just added Jones, one of the most prolific players at his position in NFL history. According to Ian Rapoport, the Titans deal for Jones sends the Atlanta Falcons a 2022 second-round pick and 2023 fourth-round pick. Tennessee gets a sixth-rounder in 2023 along with the two-time First Team All-Pro.
Trading for Jones completes Titans GM Jon Robinson’s masterpiece
Think about Tennessee’s offense in 2016.
When GM Jon Robinson took over, the Titans featured quarterback Marcus Mariota, wide receivers Tajae Sharpe and Rishard Matthews and running back DeMarco Murray. Murray, the first trade of Robinson’s Tennessee tenure, was acquired for a swap of fourth-round picks.
Doing so was the initial step in breathing new life into a franchise that desperately needed it.
Robinson’s greatest acquisition in six years on the job was trading for a franchise quarterback in 2019. Tennessee sent a a 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2019 seventh-round pick to Miami in exchange for Ryan Tannehill and a 2019 sixth-rounder. The Titans then restructured Tannehill’s contract into a deal that will pay him $7 million fully guaranteed with a chance to make up to $12 million in incentives for the 2019 season, a source told ESPN. The deal was made easier for Tennessee since Miami will pay $5 million of the guaranteed money in the form of a signing bonus, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.and a 2019 sixth-round pick.
Acquiring Jones, though, can have almost as big of an impact.
The biggest question of the Titans’ offseason was how to re-tool a historically bad defensive unit. Offensively, Robinson would need to find a solution to losing about 45% of the team’s receiving production in Jonnu Smith, Adam Humphries and Corey Davis. Since 2019, the Titans lead the NFL in touchdowns (110), plays of 50+ yards (23) and Red Zone TD Percentage (75.2%), per CBS Sports. No tight ends were drafted by the Tennessee in April and Robinson waited until the top of the fourth round to add Louisville wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick to the depleted receiving room.
Jones comes in at age 32 and off an injury-plagued season that saw him only appear in nine 2020 games. Still, in those contests, Jones produced 16 plays of 20+ yards and two of more than 40+, per Rhett Bryan of Titans Radio. There is nothing on tape that indicates the former Falcon has depreciably taken a step back.
Financial moves the Titans will need to make to get Jones’ $15.3 million salary on their books remain to be seen. But, for now, the Titans are set to contend with any team in the National Football League.
Featured Image: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports.