49ers a Potential Landing Spot for Julio Jones: Report

Julio Jones Falcons trade

Getty Former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver, Julio Jones.

It’s no secret the Atlanta Falcons are open to trading All-Pro wideout Julio Jones, but Jeff Schultz of The Athletic has confirmed the Falcons’ reasoning behind a potential deal.

According to Schultz, the “Falcons would like to” trade Jones due to the club’s tight salary cap situation of just $410,351 in cap space, per Overthecap.com.

“That doesn’t mean it’s 100 percent that it’s going to happen,” Schultz said. “That doesn’t mean some members of the organization don’t believe the future Hall of Famer can still play, when healthy. But Jones’ availability on the trade market has been clear almost from the time new general manager Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith landed in Atlanta and realized the extent of the team’s salary-cap problems. Anybody who wants to deny that likely is doing so out of mere fandom.”

He also listed possible landing spots for Jones; the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, and Los Angeles Chargers. Schultz noted that the Tennessee Titans might show interest, though their cap situation may not allow them to strike a deal.

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Julio Jones Recorded His Best Numbers Under Niners Coach Kyle Shanahan

Jones would fit well in the Bay Area since he already has a sense of familiarity after playing under 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan from 2015-16. In that time frame, Jones totaled 219 catches for 3,280 yards in just 30 regular-season games.

Shanahan’s two seasons as the Falcons offensive coordinator also included both of Jones’ All-Pro campaigns and his best NFL career season where he finished with 136 receptions in 2015, which tied for third-most ever. Jones also had 1,871 yards that put him second to Calvin Johnson’s 1,964-yard single-season record.

A Shanahan-Jones reunion has to be appealing to a team that has not had a 1,000-yard wide receiver since 2014. Though last season, Jones didn’t notch 1,000 yards due to an ongoing hamstring injury. And the games he did play in, he was still Atlanta’s top playmaker next to Calvin Ridley.

 Shanahan Seemingly Open to Trade for Jones

Shanahan joined Michael Irvin’s podcast last week where he was asked about the Julio Jones trade rumors and had nothing but praise for the seven-time Pro Bowler.

“I mean, the dude is one-of-a-kind. He makes coaching a lot — a lot — easier,” Shanahan said via 49ers Webzone “That’s why everyone feels the same about Julio. That’s why I don’t worry about saying that. That’s like common knowledge. Everyone knows Julio is on a different level. That’s why he’s a special guy.

“And I don’t know what their situation is, but I do know everyone feels that way about Julio. … Watch him, and any person will see for themselves that he is a different dude.”

The major downfall with the Niners is that they would not be able to offer up a first-round pick for Jones since they don’t have any in the next two NFL drafts, but don’t rule them out just yet––crazier things have happened.


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