How the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will use Julio Jones in 2022

Julio Jones, free agent option for the Buccaneers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Julio Jones, free agent option for the Buccaneers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers shocked the world by signing Julio Jones. Here is where he figures to fit in on the offense during the 2022 season.

In one of the more shocking moves of the offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed to acquire star wide receiver Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons, a move long rumored, but many doubted it would come to fruition.

As has been the case so many other times before during the Brady era of Bucs football, the highly unlikely occurred, and Jones will be suiting up this coming season as a Buccaneer to the delight of fans.

With his signing, a lot of questions have entered the minds of Bucs fans and teams across the league. While once the unquestionably best wide receiver in the game in his prime, Jones has struggled to remain healthy over the past few seasons.

While his football IQ, competitiveness, and raw talent have surely not faded, there is no question that he is not like to produce for a full season like he used to in his prime.

Fortunately, for the Bucs and Jones, he doesn’t need to be the league’s best receiver in his role in the Bucs offense this year. After Godwin returns from his injury, Jones will be the third receiver on the depth chart and isn’t expected to carry the offense of the Bucs.

Less targets means less hits and less risk of getting injured for Jones, even at his older age.

This certainly does not mean that he will not produce. Brady has an exceptional ability for finding the open man, and with Jones more than likely being covered by team’s less-talented cornerbacks each game, the ball is going to find its way to his hands more than enough times.

Jones should operate as a decoy of sorts for Evans and Godwin, forcing teams into giving one of the three receivers a favorable matchup each play, then letting Brady find the open man.

This same strategy allowed the Buccaneers offense to thrive with Antonio Brown filling Jones’ role until injuries started to plague the receiving core last season. Bucs fans, Julio Jones, and most of all, Tom Brady, have a reason to be excited about this signing and the positive impact this could make on the team’s chances this season.

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