Julio Jones became a surprise entry into the free agent pool on Wednesday after the Tennessee Titans released him just shy of the 4 p.m. ET deadline. Everybody knows Jones is exceptionally talented but his days of dominance are likely gone thanks to injuries piling up. Still, when healthy, Jones can be a productive receiver for a winning team.
As a veteran superstar without a ring to his name, Jones also seems like a prime candidate to join a championship contender on a low-cost one-year deal to make a run at a championship. Naturally, Tom Brady is interested in having him join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quest for a second Super Bowl title in three years.
Skip Bayless reported on Undisputed today that Brady slid into Jones' Instagram DMs to try to recruit the former All-Pro to come down and join him, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and the rest of the guys.
It does make sense on some level. Nobody inspires NBA-style superteam building like Brady. He is, after all, the greatest quarterback ever. A deep playoff run with him under center is all but guaranteed, and a championship is the last item to check on Jones' career bucket list.
But it probably won't happen, and here's why. The Bucs obviously have a lot invested in wide receiver between Evans' big deal and Godwin's new contract. But they invested even more this offseason. They signed Russell Gage away from the Falcons and brought back Breshad Perriman. Then there's Scotty Miller, crucial to the team's 2020 championship run, and Tyler Johnson, a 2020 fifth-round pick. They have three receivers making over $10 million this season. It's important to give Brady as many weapons and as much depth as possible at receiver, but adding Jones comes across as a bad use of resources.
If Jones wants to come to Tampa and play for the veteran minimum, a deal can always be reached. That feels unlikely. He made $22 million last season. He won't get that on the open market this offseason but a deal that ends up north of $10 million annually doesn't seem out of the question at all.
Brady is as good a recruiter as they come but money talks. What Jones chooses to do with his first foray into free agency will be a good indicator of where his values lie for the immediate future.