Should the 49ers trade for Julio Jones? Pros and Cons of a Possible Agreement – Santa Cruz Sentinel


Julio Jones said on national television this morning that he was “out of there”, that his tenure with the Atlanta Falcons was indeed coming to an end.

Is he in the 49ers’ plans?

Obviously, reuniting with coach Kyle Shanahan would help the 49ers cause. The pros outweigh the cons for the 49ers, don’t they? Let’s consider:


Shanahan factor: Shanahan was the Falcons ‘offensive coordinator in 2015-16 during Jones’ All-Pro seasons alone. Noting how elite players rarely surface, Shanahan said during the 2018 Recruiting Combine, “If there’s a Julio available and you have the option to have him, you’re going to have him. to look for. It’s worth it. Whatever the price, whatever the draft pick, go get it. There are not too many Julios on this planet.

Super manufacturing: Jones ranks first among all receivers in NFL history with an average of 95.5 yards per game. That’s way ahead of No.2 Calvin Johnson (86.1 ypg) and, to the measure of the 49ers, No.10 Jerry Rice (75.6 ypg). Jones averaged 85.7 yards per game last year as he was limited to nine games with a hamstring injury, but those 771 yards would have led the 49ers. His 12,896 career receiving yards rank 20th in NFL history.

The balance of veterans: The 49ers have bona fide starters and rising stars in Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. Jones would complement them, lead them, guide them. Last year’s injury showed the 49ers need as much firepower as possible. Entering today start of organized team activitiesThe mystery abounds as to who will emerge from a group of suspicious receivers, the most likely candidates being Richie James Jr. and Travis Benjamin.

Win-Now Philosophy: Jones said “I want to win” during Monday’s live phone call with Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports’ “Undisputed”. The 49ers share that sense of urgency, hence their off-season investments in Trent Williams, Kyle Juszczyk, Alex Mack and the high-priced quarterback tandem of Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance. Just 16 months ago, the 49ers were in a Super Bowl, and they are among the NFC favorites to topple Tampa Bay this year. Keeping Jones out of the clutches of the Los Angeles Rams or Green Bay Packers would also help the 49ers’ chances.


High cost: The 49ers have already mortgaged much of their future draft capital by trading for quarterback Trey Lance, including picks next year in the first and third rounds. They also don’t have a first-round pick in 2023, but look, no one else has parted with a first for Julio thus far, so the price is likely lower. Separating from a second round can be too exhausting, and more acceptable could be a third round or a combined draft pick with a player, perhaps a running back.

Financially, Jones’ $ 15 million salary is high, but maybe the Ceiling Falcons can eat some of it. Or maybe he’s ready to restructure it if the 49ers are his ideal destination. The 49ers have a cap of $ 18.4 million, according to the NFL Players Association, ahead of pending deals with Lance and third-round pick Trey Sermon (and a possible late-July extension for Fred Warner).

Health factor: The 49ers have learned the hard way in recent years how risky it is to pay out injured veterans, most notable being their 2018-19 acquisitions of Dee Ford, Kwon Alexander and Weston Richburg. Jones, 32, missed almost half of last season with a hamstring injury. He suffered injuries to his feet, ankle and hip earlier in his career, but was otherwise considered a long-lasting and tenacious veteran.

Objectives in place: How much would Jones take away from other players and distort the offensive philosophy? They don’t typically deploy three wide receivers, not when they have a branded tight end (George Kittle) and a Pro Bowl full-back (Kyle Juszczyk) in what is more considered a first attack. Isn’t Aiyuk prepared as receiver # 1? Samuel is not he an offensive catalyst of type No. 1 with his mixture of physical running and yard capacity after the capture?

Here’s what else Shanahan said in that 2018 combo interview: “Where people make mistakes is when they say, ‘We need a big red zone target like Julio’ and then you are going to pay everyone in the world i can promise you is’ t Julio. Now you can’t get a tight end. You can’t go get a guard. Yeah, you got this big guy, but he’s gotta be the right guy. … You’re not like, ‘Hey, we need a big guy.’ No, we need good receivers. They come in all shapes and sizes. ”


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