Julio Jones Reportedly Released by Titans After 1 Season; Saves $9.5M in Cap Space

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMarch 16, 2022

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones (2) runs a pass route during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
AP Photo/Matt Patterson

The Tennessee Titans reportedly plan to release receiver Julio Jones, per ESPN's Dianna Russini and Adam Schefter. 

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, this transaction will be a post-June 1 designation. The delay will save the Titans $9.5 million against the 2022 salary cap, per Spotrac, spreading his $13.2 million dead cap across the next two seasons. 

Jones spent just one season in Tennessee after a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. The year was a disaster for the veteran with his 31 catches, 434 yards and one touchdown all representing career lows. 

The 33-year-old had just 230 yards after Week 3 as hamstring injuries limited Jones to just 10 games in 2021. The same issue held him to nine games in 2020 with the Falcons. 

It has led to a steep drop for a player who earned six straight Pro Bowl selections from 2014-19, averaging 104 catches and 1,565 receiving yards per year in this stretch. He has been named first- or second-team All-Pro five times in his career as one of the best wideouts in the NFL.

Even with the recent struggles, Jones' 91.9 receiving yards per game are the most in NFL history.

It's still not what the Titans expected when they sent a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick in exchange for Jones and a sixth-rounder last offseason. He had two years remaining on the three-year extension he signed with the Falcons, which made him the highest-paid receiver in the league at the time.

Tennessee will be left with limited options at the position behind Pro Bowler A.J. Brown. With Chester Rogers and Marcus Johnson free agents this offseason, the only other returning receiver with more than 100 receiving yards last year was Nick Westbrook-Ikhine.

The team still excelled without Jones for much of last season, finishing 12-5 while earning the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

With the extra cap space, the organization can add more pieces needed to get over the top in the playoffs.