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Julio Jones to join Gage, Rudolph as new Tom Brady targets for Buccaneers

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Julio Jones to join Gage, Rudolph as new Tom Brady targets for Buccaneers
Veteran wide receiver Julio Jones (R) spent last season with the Tennessee Titans, but was released in March. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

July 27 (UPI) -- Veteran wide receiver Julio Jones agreed to a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will join Kyle Rudolph and Russell Gage as one of quarterback Tom Brady's new targets in 2022.

Sources told ESPN, NFL Network and The Athletic on Tuesday that the Buccaneers and Jones agreed to a one-year deal. The Buccaneers announced Monday that they also signed Rudolph to a one-year deal.

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Jones, 33, spent last season with the Tennessee Titans. He totaled a career-low 434 yards and one touchdown on 31 catches in 10 starts while limited by injuries in 2021.

The Titans released Jones in March.

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The 11-year veteran spent 10 of his 11 previous NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, an NFC South rival of the Buccaneers. Jones last eclipsed 1,000 yards in 2019. He hasn't totaled at least 10 scores in a season since 2012.

The two-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection is first in NFL history with 91.9 yards per game for his career. He ranks No. 17 with 13,330 career receiving yards and No. 25 with 879 catches. His 61 career scores rank No. 84 on the all-time list.

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Jones will join a receivers room that also includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage, Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller and Breshad Perriman. Godwin underwent off-season ACL surgery and his status for the start of the season remains in question. The Buccaneers signed Gage earlier this off-season.

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Rudolph will join Cameron Brate atop the depth chart at the tight end position. That duo will be tasked with replacing the production of retired pass catcher Rob Gronkowski.

The Buccaneers on Tuesday also opted to waive tight end Codey McElroy with an injury designation. The franchise also selected tight ends Cade Otton and Ko Kieft in the 2022 NFL Draft and signed undrafted free agents J.J. Howland and Ben Beise for depth at the position.

The Buccaneers' full roster reported to training camp Tuesday at the AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa, Fla. They will host the first session of joint practices with the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 10 in Tampa. The Buccaneers also will practice with the Titans on Aug. 17 in Nashville.

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They will start the regular season with a game against the Dallas Cowboys at 8:20 p.m. EDT Sept. 11 in Arlington, Texas.

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