Shanahan Talks 49ers Interest in Wideout Julio Jones

Julio Jones Falcons trade

Getty Former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver, Julio Jones.

The San Francisco 49ers are not done rounding out their roster for the 2021-22 NFL regular season.

Whether that means the 49ers will actively pursue disgruntled Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones remains to be seen. San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan addressed the team’s interest level in signing the five-time All-Pro wide receiver on Tuesday, May 25.

“We’re always interested in improving our team. I would never say we’re just done,” Shanahan said of the Jones saga, according to the NFL Update Twitter account. “It makes it harder when we’ve already given up stuff in other moves. Everything has to fit and make sense.”


Jones Has Stated Publicly That He Wants Out of Atlanta

julio jones

GettyAtlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones.

Jones made public on Monday his intent to depart Atlanta for parts yet unknown in a telephone interview with Shannon Sharpe, which took place live on Undisputed, a Fox Sports production Sharpe co-hosts with Skip Bayless.

Sharpe asked Jones flatly about his desire to stay with the Falcons or leave.

“Oh man, no, I am outta there man,” Jones said.

Sharpe followed up with a question about Jones’ ideal situation.

“Ideally, I want to win,” the wide receiver responded.

When asked where that winning might happen, Jones said he is potentially interested in playing with Cam Newton, which would take the wideout northeast to the New England Patriots. Jones told Sharpe he has no interest in heading to Texas to join the Dallas Cowboys.

Jones did not address the potential reunion with Shanahan in San Francisco during the interview, though that possibility has been floated by NFL reporters in recent days.

Shanahan served as the offensive coordinator for the Falcons during the 2016-17 season, when the team made it all the way to the Super Bowl, taking a 25-point before ultimately falling to the Patriots in the worst championship collapse in NFL history.


San Franciso Has Cap Space, ‘Win Now’ Roster That Could Prove a Good Fit For Jones

Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch

GettyHead coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers.

The Shanahan and Jones combination clearly works, and the success the duo had in Atlanta appears as though it could be reproduced in San Francisco with either quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo or rookie signal caller Trey Lance — or possibly both.

Were the 49ers to sign Jones, he would join an already talented receiving corps headed up by Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, making for a full wide receiver room.

Financially, San Francisco has the room to get a deal done, with approximately $18 million in cap space.

Jones will make $15.3 million this year and Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot has made it clear that knocking that number off the team’s cap, which would happen if the Falcons traded Jones within the next week, is a proposition with value to his franchise.

Jones has two years beyond this season on his deal and will be owed just over $11.5 million in each of the next two campaigns. For a player of Jones’ caliber, who is already so familiar with Shanahan and his offense, the number seems reasonable.

David Lombardi, of The Athletic, laid out in his article Tuesday that 49ers great Jerry Rice accumulated 11,119 yards and 85 touchdowns after turning 32.

The bigger issue is whether San Francisco has the draft capital to land Jones. Atlanta’s asking price for the receiver is currently a first round pick. The 49ers traded away their first round picks each of the next two seasons to the Miami Dolphins to move up this year and draft Lance third overall.

However, if the team can get a deal done for Jones, it sounds like Shanahan is interested.

“Jones, for everybody, especially if you had a chance to coach him, he’s what you’re saying and more,” Shanahan said on the Michael Irvin Podcast earlier this month. “I mean, the dude is one of a kind.”

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