Report: Ryan Tannehill's Titans Contract Restructured to Make Space for Julio Jones

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 8, 2021

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans and quarterback Ryan Tannehill have reportedly restructured his four-year, $118 million contract to create more than $15 million in cap space for 2021, which will help finalize the trade for Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Tuesday it's a "simple restructure" to clear the way for Jones' $15.3 million base salary in 2021.

The Titans announced Sunday they'd reached an agreement with the Falcons to acquire Jones and a 2023 sixth-round draft pick in exchange for a 2022 second-rounder and a 2023 fourth-rounder.

"We're excited to add Julio to the football team, and he's excited to be a part of what we have going on in Nashville," general manager Jon Robinson said. "It's a big day for our team."

Adding Jones to a group of playmakers led by running back Derrick Henry and fellow wide receiver A.J. Brown is a major step toward the Tannehill-guided offense being able to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, the two-time defending AFC champions.

Jones was held to 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns in 2020 because of a lingering hamstring injury that limited him to nine appearances, but he'd previously had 1,300 receiving yards or more in six straight seasons for the Falcons.

The 32-year-old University of Alabama product saw a lot of double-teams during his decade in Atlanta, but that shouldn't be the case in Tennessee with opposing defenses also having to scheme for Henry, who typically attracts eight-man fronts, and Brown, who's tallied 2,126 yards and 19 scores through two NFL seasons.

Meanwhile, Tannehill has quietly been one of the NFL's most effective quarterbacks since being acquired from the Miami Dolphins in 2019.

The 2012 first-round pick completed 65.5 percent of his throws for 3,819 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions across 16 games in 2020. He also added seven rushing scores and ranked fourth in ESPN's Total QBR (78.3) behind only the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers (84.4), Mahomes (82.9) and the Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen (81.7).

Tannehill said he was "fired up" after learning about the acquisition of Jones.

"I'm excited," he told reporters Sunday. "How can you not be excited to play with a guy the caliber and talent Julio is and has been for his whole career? So, I'm excited to get to know him as a person and just welcome him to the team and get him acclimated to the way we do things."

The Titans have reached the playoffs three of the past four years, highlighted by a trip to the 2019 AFC Championship Game, so their championship window is open with Jones in the fold.


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