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NFL WR Julio Jones signs one-year contract with Bucs

Seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones officially signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday.

NFL Network reported the one-year deal is worth $6 million with another $2 million attainable through incentives.

Jones provides insurance for quarterback Tom Brady and the Buccaneers should Chris Godwin be unable to return in a timely fashion from a torn ACL. Godwin sustained the injury in Week 15 of last season.

Jones, 33, joins a wide receiver room that includes Mike Evans and former Atlanta Falcons teammate Russell Gage.

Jones said joining a Hall of Fame quarterback and the impressive coaching staff were his primary reasons for signing with the Buccaneers. He also cited geography.

“It’s next door. I’m from Alabama and I played in Georgia. It’s right here,” Jones said. “My family can come see me and not go out of the way.”

Jones was a disappointment last season in his only campaign with the Tennessee Titans. He established career lows of 31 receptions, 434 yards and one touchdown in just 10 games due to multiple hamstring injuries.

“His health has been an issue, but he’s healthy now,” Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said Wednesday.

Jones caught six passes for 62 yards when the Titans were upset 19-16 by the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC divisional round of the playoffs.

He played his first 10 seasons with the Falcons before being dealt to Tennessee in June 2021 with a 2023 sixth-round pick for a 2022 second-round pick and a conditional 2023 fourth-round pick.

Jones said he’s ready to contribute in whatever way is needed.

“Just have the ability to come down here and just work, bring whatever I can to the team to help — whether it’s mentor or playing style, whatever the case may be,” he said.

Jones also said he wasn’t concerned about what jersey number he’d wear, saying, “I make the number. The number doesn’t make me.”

Jones wore No. 11 with the Falcons and No. 2 with the Titans. Quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert (No. 11) and Kyle Trask (No. 2) have those numbers in Tampa Bay.

Jones topped 1,300 receiving yards in a span of six consecutive seasons from 2014-19 and was a first-time All-Pro in 2015 and 2016. He also had more than 100 receptions three times and set Atlanta franchise marks of 136 catches and 1,871 yards in 2015.

Jones holds Falcons’ career records of 848 receptions and 12,896 yards. His 60 touchdown receptions rank second behind Roddy White (63).

On Tuesday, the Buccaneers opened a spot on the training camp roster by waiving tight end Codey McElroy, 29, with an injury designation. He spent much of his time with the team on the practice squad but appeared in one game in 2019 and two in 2021. He made one catch for 30 yards.

–Field Level Media

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