Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans

Does Julio Jones trade help Titans compete with Chiefs in AFC?

With Julio Jones now in the mix, are the Tennessee Titans in that contender status with the Chiefs

It was never a matter of if Julio Jones would be traded from the Atlanta Falcons, but rather when. On Sunday, Tennessee came calling.

The Tennessee Titans and Falcons have agreed to terms that will send the former All-Pro wide receiver to the Music City in exchange for what is now being reported as a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round selection. Tennessee will also receive a 2023 sixth-round pick along with Jones.

Multiple Titans, including Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown, have expressed interest in Jones joining the team via social media. Who could forget when Brown posted a TikTok video to Jones explaining why the Titans would be the perfect fit for him to win a title.

Is it though?

Adding Jones strengthens an offense that finished with the league-leading rusher in Henry and a top-three attack that averaged 396.4 yards per game. Jones stated that he also wanted to play with a strong-armed quarterback. In 2019, Ryan Tannehill graded out as the No. 3 deep ball passer on his way to the Pro Bowl.

Jones now as a member of an upside offense will give an advantage to Tennessee in the AFC South. Will it be the same advantage in the AFC as a whole next to the Buffalo Bills or Kansas City Chiefs?

Titans: How close are they to competing for an AFC title?

Jones will play the role and perhaps even upgrade the void left by Corey Davis this offseason. After a career-best year, Davis elected to join the Jets on a three-year, $37.5 million dollar. When looking at Jones’ current contract, the Titans will owe the 32-year-old roughly $38.3 million though that same span.

Compare the consistent production from Jones since 2014 and a lone season of Davis doing great things, and it’s worth every penny.

Offensively, there’s few holes to report. The Titans have a solidified offensive line that could be getting better with the addition of Dillon Radunz at right tackle. The Titans also added stability in the passing attack with the underrated signing of Josh Reynolds.

That’s never been the problem. It’s the defense that concerns fans entering June.

Last season, Tennessee was the worst team at stopping opponents on third down, allowing a conversion success rate of nearly 52 percent. The Titans also struggled to disrupt the quarterback with an inefficient pass rush, finishing as one of three teams with 20 sacks or fewer (19 total).

Mike Vrabel’s squad could improve following the 2021 offseason if the new additions can contribute right away. Tennessee is banking on Bud Dupree to return to 2019 form on a five-year deal. He’s coming off a torn ACL suffered midseason with Pittsburgh.

First-round cornerback Caleb Farley was considered a top-10 talent despite opting out due to COVID-19. He’s still raw at the position and hasn’t played the game in over 18 months. Slot defender Elijah Molden is perfect replacement for Desmond King, but can he be the Logan Ryan 2.0 that was missing last fall?

Kansas City spent the offseason solidifying its offensive line and front-seven. Buffalo kept their own and spent its first two selections to upgrade the pass rush. Heck, even Cleveland did everything to make sure its defense wouldn’t be the downfall of the success once again.

Can the same be said about the Titans? Until proven on the field, it cannot.

Tennessee must bank on the new additions to play at a high-end level from out the gate. Offensively, the Titans are there with the best of the bunch in every aspect of the question.

Defensively? They’re a missed assignment away from letting anyone score six on a consistent basis.

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