Former Falcons All-Pro receiver Julio Jones signs with division rival Tampa Bay

Former Atlanta Falcons great Julio Jones will once again call the NFC South home, following a one year hiatus from the division, after he signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just ahead of the start of training camp on Tuesday.

Jones joins the Bucs after spending the 2021 season in Tennessee, following a trade which sent him away from Atlanta last offseason.

Julio Jones spent the first 10 years of his career as an Atlanta Falcon, after the franchise moved up 20 spots to take him in the top 10 of the 2011 NFL Draft. In that time, he broke the franchise’s all time record in receptions and receiving yards and finished second on the all time receiving touchdowns list behind only Roddy White.

Jones was selected to the Pro Bowl as a Falcon seven times and was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2015 and 2016, helping lead the team to Super Bowl 51 in that 2016 season.

Injuries ended up slowing him down in his last season as a Falcon, and he was granted his wish in being traded away from the franchise when Atlanta moved him to the Tennessee Titans for a 2022 second round draft pick which became linebacker Troy Andersen.

Julio’s only season in Tennessee was a disappointing one, as he battled lingering injuries to play in just 10 games. He registered career lows in receptions (31), receiving yards (434) and touchdowns (1). He was cut by the Titans in March.

Now, Jones has found a new home with one of the NFC’s Super Bowl favorites, as he aims to win that elusive ring in the twilight of his career. He pairs with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, and is slated to face the Falcons in Tampa Week 5, before making his return to Atlanta in Week 18.

Julio Jones’ $15.5 million dead cap hit is currently the third-highest cap hit on the team’s books in 2022, only behind Deion Jones’ $20 million cap hit and Matt Ryan’s historic $40.5 million dead cap hit.

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