49ers Being Watched ‘Closely’ for Julio Jones Trade: Report

Julio jones

Getty Left: Kyle Shanahan as the Atlanta Falcons OC in 2015. Right: The best receiver in the NFL, Julio Jones.

Atlanta Falcons’ superstar wideout Julio Jones is ready to move on from being a dirty bird and wants to join a winning team, he said himself last week.

As long as the San Francisco 49ers can stay healthy, then they’re back to being playoff contenders this season. A healthy Niners team is already dangerous, but adding a guy like Julio Jones could make them even more daunting.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler asked around the league about where Jones might end up and found that the 49ers are being watched “closely” for a potential trade. However, the 49ers already gave up a lot for their 2021 third overall draft pick, so they might now want to do the same for Jones.

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What the Falcons Are Asking for Jones

The Falcons’ asking price for Jones is a first-round pick and a player. This could be way too high for the 49ers, who do not have a 2022 or 2023 first-round pick to put on the table.

But we can’t count the Niners out just yet because NBC Sports’ Peter King was told by a trustworthy source that the Falcons will settle for a second-round pick.

I was told a while ago by a source I trust that the Falcons would accept a hard second-round pick in 2022 (no condition on Jones’ playing time) with no responsibility to pay Jones any of the $38 million he has coming. That seems like the most logical outcome, and my guess is a hard second-rounder is already on the table from some team.

Jones, 32, is set to make $15.3 million this season. He played in just nine games last season due to a hamstring injury, where he had 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns. In 10 NFL seasons, Jones has 848 catches for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns in his 10 seasons.

Kyle Shanahan is Open to Having Jones Join the Squad

Not only would Jones being joining a lethal group of receivers that features Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle, but head coach Kyle Shanahan and Jones have a history together.

Jones played under 49ers Shanahan from 2015 to 2016. During those two seasons, Jones put up his best numbers ever, totaling 219 catches for 3,280 yards in just 30 regular-season games.

The two-year campaign also included both of Jones’All-Pro campaigns and new benchmarks. He finished the 2015 season with 136 receptions that year 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.

While there haven’t been any reports that the Falcons and 49ers are working on a deal, Shanahan said last week that he wouldn’t be opposed to adding Jones to his roster.

“Anyone I’ve coached in the past that I have relationships with, especially a great dude like Julio, obviously I have a ton of respect for,” told reporters last week. “We’re always interested in improving our team. We’ll never just say, ‘Hey, we’re done, we can’t improve our team.’ You always try to try to make that happen. But yeah, it makes it harder when you’ve already given up some stuff to make some moves and things like that. Everything’s got to fit in. It’s got to make sense. But, I would never say we’re just done.”


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