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Julio Jones Trade Puts Him Back On Cardinals' 2021 Schedule

Star wide receiver dealt to Week 1 opponent Titans

No, Julio Jones isn't coming to the Cardinals, much to the chagrin of many fans I heard from over the last month. (I don't think, with that salary -- and D-Hop's salary -- it was ever really a possibility.) But he didn't end up in the NFC West at all, and given that every other team in the division was at least briefly linked to the star wide receiver, that's a good thing.

Still, the Jones trade Sunday still puts him right in the Cardinals' sights, because he was dealt to the Tennessee Titans -- the team the Cardinals visit in the first week of the regular season.

It definitely makes the Titans' offense that much more powerful. Already defenses had to deal with the best running back in the league, Derrick Henry. Emerging wide receiver A.J. Brown looks like a star, and Jones already is one. It'll make for a challenge of this revamped Cardinals' defense, which is already trying to figure out its cornerback situation. (And put some pressure on Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt and Markus Golden, etc., to get to Ryan Tannehill as well as slowing Henry at least a little.)

Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has already had one shot with Arizona against Jones. Jones had eight catches for 108 yards for the Falcons in the Cardinals' 34-33 win over Atlanta at State Farm Stadium in 2019. In his career, Jones has averaged 6.2 catches for 89.4 yards over five games against the Cardinals -- mostly matched up with Patrick Peterson in all those games. Obviously, Peterson is no longer an option. We'll see how the Cardinals deal with Jones this time around, with a new team and new quarterback.

Falcons WR Julio Jones hit by CB Byron Murphy in a 2019 home game

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