The cost for the Titans to obtain the Hall of Fame talent was a second-round pick in 2022 and a late-round pick swap in 2023. Tennessee taking on the entire $15.3 million owed Jones this season was one factor in the lower cost. There were also concerns about durability for a 32-year-old player with a recent injury history that could be a harbinger of issues to come.
Meeting with the media for the first time on his new team, Jones took issue with anyone who thinks he's old or injury-prone, saying that not giving himself enough time to heal last season is what led to the lingering problem.
"For me, at the end of the day, I believe in me," said Jones, who was troubled by a hamstring injury last season. "I know what I have in the tank. And we talking about age is 32. I'm young. In football, you can say it's old, but you either do it or you don't. This game don't change for me. I'm still fast and still strong. And too, the games last year, I just had an issue where I didn't take enough time to heal up properly. That was just my decision on going out there and just playing. There's no excuses, things like that. I'll be ready to go. So, for those questioning my health and things like that, just stay tuned."
Jones joins an offense that boasts fellow stud receiver A.J. Brown and the NFL's premier workhorse running back Derrick Henry. Along with underrated quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the Tians have the firepower to keep pace with any offense -- and overcome a still questionable defense.
Jones said opponents will have to gamble by either stacking the box or dropping back in the secondary in an attempt to slow the Titans' offense.
"I mean, defenses, you're really going to have to pick your poison," he said. If you to stay in the box, put nine in the box. A guy like Derrick Henry in the backfield, you got to respect him. So then, that's when me and A.J. go to work outside. Then if you only got eight in the box, Derrick gonna go to work in the backfield. Great offensive line, things like that. Scheme, stuff like that. I mean, you just gotta pick your poison at the end of the day."
In Brown's recruitment of Jones in recent weeks, the Titans' incumbent receiver said he'd give up No. 11 jersey to Julio. Jones, however, wouldn't accept and instead chose No. 2. The new Tennessee receiver said the number choice was another fun reminder of the three-headed monster the Titans now possess with himself (No. 2), Brown (No. 11), and Henry (No. 22).
"(Brown) tried to give me the 11, and I said, 'I don't want it, that's your number.' I'm just going to go with the 2,'" Jones said. "I just felt like me, (Brown) and Derrick ... one plus one is two. The two times 11 is 22. So it's kind of like you're going to have to deal with us. All four of us, actually (with QB Ryan Tannehill). But you're going to have to deal with the whole offense. It takes all 11 guys. But this 2 thing is to just keep the guys going and have fun with it. At the end of the day, it's our job, but we'll have fun with it. "
The Titans will have the most fun come the fall if their "pick your poison" offense is lighting up the scoreboard as predicted.