ESPN’s Bill Barnwell thinks the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one of the biggest roster luxuries in the NFL.
Barnwell pointed out 13 “luxury positions” in the NFL and No. 4 wide receiver was one of the positions he included.
According to Barnwell, the Bucs have the best No. 4 wide receiver in the NFL in recent free agent addition Julio Jones
With teams using three or more wideouts on just over 62% of their offensive snaps last season, having a useful slot receiver or third wideout isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. In 2022, teams with superlative depth at wide receiver can count on their fourth and fifth options as useful contributors, often both within the offense and on special teams.
Of course, one exception to that rule is in Tampa Bay, where this one was decided last week. The Bucs added yet another future Hall of Famer to their roster by signing Jones to a one-year deal worth up to $6 million. With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin locked in as the top two wideouts, I’d expect Russell Gage to run as the third option and Jones to spell the trio as the No. 4. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jones figures in most notably as a red-zone option to help replace the retired Rob Gronkowski.
Jones isn’t what he used to be, but he’s still a physically imposing wide receiver who can have his way with defensive backs.
If Jones stays healthy — and that’s been his biggest issue the last two years — he can still be a dominating wide receiver.
I don’t expect him to return to his 2014-2019 form this season, but I think he can still be a reliable red zone target for quarterback Tom Brady.
The Buccaneers don’t have a lot invested in Jones, so any production they receive from him this season is truly a luxury.
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