Julio Jones was traded from the Atlanta Falcons to the Tennessee Titans last offseason and the LA Chargers dodged a serious bullet. There were a lot of Charger fans, myself included, that wanted to see the Bolts trade a second-round pick for the future Hall of Fame receiver. The Bolts didn't and they are better off because of it.
Jones' tenure in Tennessee will last just one season as the Titans released the former All-Pro receiver after a disappointing 2021 season where Jones also could not stay healthy. It is clear that Jones is entering the twilight of his career as he still has not been signed by a new team.
Teams are likely waiting until after the 2022 NFL Draft to potentially sign Jones to a deal and the Chargers should be one of those teams. While the Bolts could end up taking a receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft, if they don't, they should be giving Jones a call.
Why the LA Chargers should sign Julio Jones if they do not draft a receiver:
The LA Chargers currently have five receivers on the roster, leaving space for one more receiver to round out the position. While it is more likely that they will take a speedster at some point in the draft, there is a reality in which other prospects fall or the receivers that the Chargers like simply are not on the board in certain spots.
Jones is no longer a speedster but he would add a dynamic pass-catching option to the receiver room that could come up with some big catches in big moments. Yes, he is nowhere close to being his prime self, but that is the beauty in this signing.
Jones' value on the open market is going to be extremely low. After being released and not signing for an entire month, it would be surprising to see Jones get more than $2.5 million, at the absolute most. The Chargers could likely sign Jones for a one-year, $2 million deal with incentives. That is around where his value is.
That is such a low-risk, high-reward move for the Chargers to make. Jones obviously won't turn back into his prime self but he can be a key target for the Bolts. Just look at other players in recent years who seemingly had no value who played big roles on their teams. The last two Super Bowl Champions had an offensive weapon like this in Odell Beckham Jr. and Leonard Fournette, respectively.
There is no such thing as having too many offensive weapons and if the Chargers can sign a future Hall of Famer who still has something left in the gas tank for $2 million then they should absolutely do it.
If it doesn't work out then the Bolts wouldn't be throwing away much salary-cap space. Why not make this signing to add receiver depth at this proposed price?