The Buccaneers sign Julio Jones for a one-year deal, and the former All-Pro team joins Tom Brady

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added another former All-Pro receiver to the talented receiving squad, signing Julio Jones to a one-year deal (per ESPN), confirmed by CBS Sports insider Jonathan Jones. Julio Jones will get the chance to get passes from Tom Brady, joining a wide receiving unit that already includes Mike Evans, Chris Goodwin and Russell Gage.

Tampa Bay is arguably the most accomplished receiver of the past decade in Jones, who has made seven Pro Bowls and earned two First Team All-Pro picks in his 12-year career. Jones has a career receiving 13,330 yards (the most in the NFL since 2011, his rookie year), and has led the league in receiving yards twice (2015 and 2018). He leads the NFL in yards after catch (4,329) and is second in receptions (879) since 2011.

Only Jerry Rice (15,123), Marvin Harrison (13,697), and Tori Holt (13,382) have more yards than Jones after their first 11 seasons. Jones had 1,300 yards in six consecutive seasons (2014-2019), and tied with Holt for the longest streak in NFL history (only Rice had more than 1,300 yards in seven career seasons). His 59 games for 100 yards ranked third in the Super Bowl era, trailing only Rice (76) and Randy Moss (64).

A free agent for the first time in his career, Jones had 31 career low passes for 434 yards and touchdowns (14.0 yards per catch) last season. He has been hampered by injuries, which have been part of the reason Jones hasn’t produced in each of the past two years (82 catches, 1,205 yards, four touchdowns in 19 games). Jones has missed seven games in each of the last two seasons due to hamstring issues and COVID, slowing down one of the greatest wide receiver starts in NFL history.

With Jones in Tampa Bay, he will not be required to perform a pass game. Evans is one of Brady’s main targets as the No. 1 player at wide while Goodwin has an excellent chance of preparing for the first week (ACL surgery). Gage has been brought in this season as another weapon of the scrolling game, an insurance policy in case Godwin has to waste time at the start of the year.

Jones and Mike Evans are two of three active players with seven 1,000-yard seasons, both of whom would be on the same roster and have assists from Brady. Gage and Jones will also be reunited at Tampa Bay, where he earned 72 high-passes for 786 yards and four touchdowns in 2020 — his last season with Jones.

With Jones on board, the Buccaneers are at a depth of four in the wide receiver as they prepare for another Super Bowl.

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