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49ers’ Kyle Shanahan would have favored to have acquired Julio Jones, however says he is ‘very glad he is within the AFC’

The Julio Jones commerce from Atlanta to Tennessee has had ripple results by way of the NFL. Jones’ arrival in Tennessee has boosted the Titans’ hopes of successful a second consecutive AFC South division title. Conversely, his departure certainly drew a sigh of reduction from the Falcons’ NFC South division rivals. 

Additionally respiratory a sigh of reduction is 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who labored with Jones when Shanahan served because the Falcons’ offensive coordinator throughout the 2015 and ’16 seasons. Whereas he would have cherished to have seen Jones land in San Francisco, Shanahan is comfortable that his crew will not must face the seven-time Professional Bowl receiver twice a season. The Seahawks, who captured the NFC West division title in 2020, had been reportedly wanting into buying and selling for Jones, who would have been an enormous coup for a Seattle crew whose offense already contains quarterback Russell Wilson and receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. 

“I am very glad he is within the AFC,” Shanahan said, by way of Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports activities. “[It’s a] good day. I might have been a hell of a deal, however my second-favorite alternative is him being within the AFC.”

It is unknown how a lot the 49ers pursued buying Jones, however, primarily based on Shanahan’s feedback, it is clear that he and San Francisco basic supervisor John Lynch had at the least entertained the concept of brining Jones to the Bay Space. In San Francisco, Jones would have added vital depth to a receivers group that features Deebo Samuel, veterans Mohamed Sanu, Richie James and Jalen Hurd, and 2020 first-round decide Brandon Aiyuk. 

The 49ers’ commerce exercise previous to this 12 months’s draft possible handicapped their capacity to noticeably pursue Jones, who was traded to the Titans in trade for Tennessee’s 2022 second-round decide and a 2023 fourth-round decide (Tennessee additionally obtained the Falcons’ 2023 sixth-round decide). In transferring up from the No. 12 to the No. 3 general decide within the 2021 draft, which allowed them to pick out quarterback Trey Lance, the 49ers gave the Dolphins their first and third-round picks in 2022 and their 2023 first-round decide. Whereas they may technically may have nonetheless accomplished a commerce just like the one Tennessee executed, it might have left the 49ers with no picks throughout the first two days of the 2022 draft. 

The 49ers’ commerce with the Dolphins in the end benefitted the Falcons. With Miami not in entrance of them, the Falcons had been in a position to choose tight finish Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 general decide. The Dolphins, who had been reportedly excited by Pitts, chosen former Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle with the No. 6 general decide. The acquisition of Pitts helps soften the blow of dropping Jones, the highest receiver in Falcons historical past. 

Jones didn’t find yourself in San Francisco, however he did go away the NFC after spending the primary decade of his profession in Atlanta. That is ok of a comfort prize for Shanahan, whose crew will not must face Jones this season until the 49ers and Titans face off in Tremendous Bowl LVI. 

“You have to fear about everybody, however No. 1, him not being in our division is a big deal,” Shanahan mentioned. “Julio’s the person. Everybody is aware of how good of a participant he’s. Tennessee obtained a hell of a participant.” 

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