Several teams looked into executing the needle-moving trade, but it was Tennessee who ultimately pulled the trigger. As general manager Jon Robinson explained during an impromptu media session, the club did its due diligence early to see if bringing the superstar receiver in would be a possibility.
"When word got out that he might be available, I started looking at it, we looked at him, coaches looked at him, how he might fit in offensively," he said Sunday afternoon. "He's big, he's fast, he's tough, he's great with the ball in his hands, willing blocker. I think a lot of the things we ask of our receivers, which all the locals know, it's get open, catch and block. He certainly checks those boxes and has done it at a high level for a lot of years in the National Football League."
As Robinson noted, the 32-year-old possesses a skill set that should help him mesh well with his new team, especially when you consider the ways his presence could impact the games of running back Derrick Henry and wideout A.J. Brown.
Of course, how Jones fits in the locker room will also play an important role to the team's success. So far, it sounds as though he'll have no trouble buying into the club's modus operandi.
"In my discussion with Julio, what's his No. 1 goal, it wasn't about targets, it wasn't about that. His goal is to win," Robinson shared. "That's the mindset we're looking for, whether that's nine targets, whether that's two targets or no targets. Contribute to winning the football game -- I think that's the mindset he has and that's the mindset we have as a football team."
The ways in which he's asked to contribute may be different than his days as a Falcon but it's fair to assume his number will still be called on plenty of occasions, so long as he stays healthy.
Jones' age and lingering injury concerns, along with Atlanta's reported desire to obtain a first-round pick for his services, affected his ability to be moved over the last month. In the end, the Titans surrendered what was essentially one second-rounder to nab the generational talent. A price tag some may question down the line but was evidently satisfactory for all parties.
"Whatever the value is, is the value. We felt like it was good value for us, and Atlanta felt like it was good value for them, obviously, or they wouldn't have done the trade. They're excited and we're excited," Robinson said.
For the 2021 Titans, the expectations will soon begin to mount as Mike Vrabel eyes his fourth consecutive winning season.
Could this move help push Tennessee over the top and lead to the second AFC Championship appearance of the Vrabel era? Fans and supporters certainly hope so, but, as for those within the organization, preseason declarations are best left off the table.
"We don't set expectations," Robinson said. "I think my charge is to get as many good football players on the team as possible and let them go out there and do their jobs and play the style of football that we want to play and the chips fall where they may. Everybody's undefeated right now, it's a new season. Everybody has a chance to go the distance and win the thing. Ultimately, it's our job to try to put a team out there that's gonna be competitive, that's gonna play stylistically the way that we want to play and I'm excited about this team."