The Veracity Report

Wide receiver Julio Jones

The Tampa Bay Bucs are Keeping Up with the Jones – Julio Jones That Is

Julio Jones will play his first game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in over a year — but he’ll be wearing crimson and pewter when he does

Wide receiver Julio Jones

Last offseason, the Atlanta Falcons, who traded up 21 picks in the 2011 NFL draft to claim the standout flanker from Alabama, traded him to the Tennessee Titans as part of an impending rebuild.

After an injury plagued 2020 season which undoubtedly contributed to the Falcons decision to move on from their all-time leading receiver, Jones played 10 largely unremarkable games for Tennessee in 2021,  before being released this past March.

From 2011 through 2020 with Atlanta, the top-flight wide receiver caught for over 1,000 yards in seven of those seasons, helping the Falcons to one of the most successful and celebrated decades in their franchise’s history.

Jones also led the NFL in receiving in both 2015 and 2018. The 12,896 years he accumulated during that span was enough to surpass the team’s previous all-time leading receiver, Roddy White.

After his release from the Titans, many had hoped he would either join the Indianapolis Colts to reunite with Matt Ryan, who was traded there shortly after the end of the Falcons disappointing 2021 campaign, or that he might even return to Atlanta to finish what he started, catching passes from newly acquired signal caller, Marcus Mariota.

Instead, Jones opted to sign a one year deal with the Buccaneers where he joins Tom Brady, reunites with his former teammate Russell Gage, and joins one of the best receiving corps, and arguably one of the best teams in the NFL.

For Falcons fans, there’s no doubt that Jones’ January 8, 2023, return to Mercedes Benz Stadium will be bittersweet, regardless of who wins the game.