Weekly Wrap Up: Julio Jones joins Tom Brady

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Training Camp is underway

NFL football is officially back! With every team practicing in full swing, there are plenty of storylines. In just a few days we saw (and roasted) Kyler Murray for having a “study” clause in his contract only to see the Cardinals remove it after social media backlash. Many players around the league are making plays and getting fans hyped on social media. There are some, like Evan Engram, who find themselves on the opposite side of that energy. Training camp is the best time for all fans to have postseason aspirations. The season then comes along and we are all brought to reality. Whatever the case, as we get into August, the excitement is sure to ramp up as we get closer to the season.

Quintorris never dies

The all-time great wide receiver Julio Jones has signed a one-year, $6 million deal to play with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He'll join an all-star cast that includes Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette and some dude who recruited him named Tom Brady. Jones comes in after having an uneventful year for the Titans which saw him hindered by hamstring issues (again). He dealt with the same issues in 2020, his last season as a Falcon. Despite that, his skills are still respected amongst his peers at age 33. Jones has all of the Hall of Fame numbers individually, so it's clear what his motive is here. He simply wants to win a Super Bowl. In 2021, he showed flashes of his greatness (Week 2: six receptions and 128 yards), but ultimately his hamstrings had other ideas. In his final game as a Titan, Jones recorded six receptions for 62 yards in a Wildcard loss against the eventual AFC champion Bengals.

How will he fit in on the Bucs offense? He's going to fit, I can tell you that. But what about Russell Gage and his contract? For starters, Gage has $20 million guaranteed over three seasons. That is nowhere near top-dollar at wide receiver. If he stays the length of the contract, he'll average $10 million per season. Brady will “only” make $15 million in 2022 as well. This is why the Bucs can bring in guys like Gage and bring back Fournette. Do not think for a second that Jones won't be on the field for three-wide receiver sets if he's healthy. Jones will be able to play in the slot and/or outside depending on Godwin's availability. Remember, the Bucs are attempting to replace Antonio Brown's and Rob Gronkowski's production. There will be A LOT of mouths to feed, but with Brady averaging 42 passing attempts a game in 2021, there will be plenty on the plate.

From a fantasy perspective, it'll be a confusing situation with all of the pass catchers. The Bucs' have four receivers who can go out and get 100 yards in a game on any given day. If all are healthy, Godwin and Evans should be drafted in the WR2 range. Jones today is in the WR4 tier with Gage slightly behind.

Joey B right back

Reading a sports article or blurb and seeing the words “Joe Burrow will have surgery…” sends an immediate scare. Luckily, it is nothing severe as Burrow will have his appendix removed. He's set to miss an undisclosed amount of practice time, but it won't be long-term. He and the Bengals are correcting the problem so it does not affect him down the line.

Burrow and the Bengals are looking to build upon a season that saw them get to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1989. Burrow flourished in 2021, passing for 4,611 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions with a 70.4% rate. After finishing as QB8 in fantasy, Burrow looks to continue to develop with his young stud receivers Tee Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase. Both receivers have the means and ability to be top-10 fantasy receivers in 2022 with Burrow. So while he's currently down, “Joe Sheisty” is definitely not out and will be back soon to make another run.

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One leaving, one staying

Seahawks running back Chris Carson has decided to retire from football due to a neck injury at age 27. Carson, a former seventh-round pick in 2017, gave the Seahawks great value and effort. He burst onto the scene in 2018 after the team had recently drafted Rashaad Penny in the first round. In his second season, he finished as RB15 in fantasy and followed that up the next year by improving to RB12 in 2019. Known as one of the tougher runners in the league, Carson dealt with his share of injuries. His next two seasons would see him miss significant time due to his hip, neck and other ailments. He finishes his career with 3,502 rushing yards, 24 touchdowns and another 804 yards and seven scores on 107 receptions. A respected player by his coaches, peers and fans, he will be missed.

In other Seahawks news, wide receiver DK Metcalf and the team have agreed to a three-year $72 million extension. The deal includes $58 million guaranteed and a $30 million signing bonus. Both sides had long wanted to get a deal done and they finally wrapped it up. After breaking out in 2020, going 83/1303/10 and finishing as the WR7, Metcalf took a step back in 2021. The lack of yardage (967 yards) dropped him down to WR14. While he was still able to get in the endzone 12 times, the quarterback situation in 2022 has things looking blurry.

In his first three seasons, he mostly enjoyed Russell Wilson at quarterback. Coming into this season, Drew Lock and Geno Smith are battling it out for the starting job. Neither brings excitement, but the Seahawks wanted to keep their top receiver around to help whatever signal-caller they go with. In the four games (starting three) that Smith started last season, Metcalf averaged 5.7 targets, 4.7 catches and 73 yards per game while scoring a total of five touchdowns. Those numbers aren't great, but doable. Lock is more of a runner and that will limit any upside. Smith would be the better fantasy option for Metcalf.