The NFL offseason this year produced a lot of movement at the wide receiver position. Some stars were on the move via trade, such as Davanate Adams and Tyreek Hill, while up-and-coming players, such as Christian Kirk, cashed in as free agents. A team that could still be looking for a move at the position is the San Francisco 49ers.
We are now in the third wave of free agency, where some veterans have slipped through the cracks. While teams are gearing up their preparation for the 2022 NFL Draft, there are still several veterans available that could help a team out. The wide receiver position has numerous.
One of those veterans is Julio Jones. Jones had a 2021 season to forget with the Tennessee Titans. They acquired him from the Atlanta Falcons for second and fourth-round picks but he was hampered by injuries throughout the season.
2021 was the least productive season of Jones’ career as he set career lows across the board. He managed only 31 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown. That is likely a big reason that his market has been chilly thus far this offseason.
While it has been slow developing, it is only a matter of time until Jones finds a team to sign with. While seemingly no longer on an All-Pro level, as his health has kept him from remaining near the top of the ranks at the position, he still has something left in the tank.
Despite the struggles last season, Jones still averaged 14 yards per reception. His size and veteran savvy enable him to win on the perimeter despite his waning athleticism at 33-years old. One team that could be a potential fit is the San Francisco 49ers.
San Francisco saw three wide receivers depart the team this offseason, only bringing in one from another team in Ray-Ray McCloud from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Adding Jones to the mix would enable Kyle Shanahan to continue unleashing Deebo Samuel as a jack of all trades weapon offensively.
If you know you have a player in Jones you can deploy at the X receiver spot whenever he is on the field, the rest of the players can be moved around like chess pieces. Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Kyle Juszczyk are all versatile players that can line up all over a formation.
Joining a team that won’t require him to play a featured role, as the Titans were hoping for last season, is likely best for Jones at this stage of his career as well. It will help keep him healthy and allow the 49ers to play exclusively into his strengths.