Julio Jones excited to join Buccaneers, Brady on 1-year deal

July 27, 2022 GMT

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Julio Jones is the latest high-profile veteran to join forces with Tom Brady in pursuit of a Super Bowl ring.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver to a one-year contract Wednesday, bolstering an already impressive array of playmakers the team has assembled around the soon-to-be 45-year-old quarterback.

Jones, who spent 10 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons before being traded to Tennessee last year, is coming off the worst statistical season of his career and was released by the Titans in March.

With the Bucs, he joins a talented receiving group that includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and offseason acquisition Russell Gage as Brady’s primary playmakers.

The Bucs also added veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph in free agency as a replacement for Rob Gronkowski, who announced his retirement.

“I’m looking forward, I’m not looking backward,” Jones said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to be a part of something special.”

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The 33-year-old receiver has missed 14 games because of injuries over the past two seasons and was let go by the Titans after finishing with 31 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown in 2021.

Since entering the NFL as a first-round draft pick of the Falcons in 2011, though, Jones has been one of the NFL’s best receivers with 879 catches for 13,330 yards and 61 TDs. He’s had some of the most prolific outings of his career against the Bucs, lightning up the Tampa Bay defense with 114 receptions for 1,841 yards and 11 TDs in 16 games as a member of the NFC South-rival Falcons.

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