‘Glad He’s in the AFC’ – 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan Glad Julio Jones No Longer In Same Conference

Published 06/07/2021, 9:07 AM EDT
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 22: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons looks on during the first half of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)


San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan knows a thing or two about Julio Jones. The wide receiver and Shanahan have worked in the past and boy did they reap the rewards.

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Before joining the 49ers as their head coach, Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. Shanahan spent two seasons with the franchise in 2015 and 2016.

And under Shanahan’s offense, Jones earned All Pro call ups on both occasions. The 2015 season especially was a standout as it was Julio Jones’ best ever season in terms of receiving yards (1,871).

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Given the chemistry the two shared, there wasn’t much wonder as to why the 49ers were linked with a trade for Jones. After the wideout publicly stated his desire to leave, the 49ers were one of the favorites to land the Falcons wide receiver.

But the Tennessee Titans swooped in with the better offer to pick up the two-time All Pro. While Shanahan is disappointed not have been able to connect with Jones once again, he managed to find a silver lining in it all.

Shanahan glad 49ers won’t have to face Julio Jones

With Jones not headed to the West Coast, Shanahan said that Jones instead headed to Tennessee isn’t all that bad.

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“I’m very glad he’s in the AFC,” Shanahan said via NFL reporter Matt Maiocco. “It would’ve been a hell of a deal [to bring him to the 49ers], but my second-favorite choice is him being in the AFC.”

The Falcons and the 49ers both belong to the NFC. The Titans though ply their trade in the AFC.

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Sep 27, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan during the second quarter of a NFL football game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Rams and Seattle Seahawks too were linked with a move for Jones, both of whom play in the same division as the Niners.

“No. 1, him not being in our division is a huge deal,” Shanahan said. While not having Jones in the same division is a blessing for the 49ers.

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But not having Jones in their own division doesn’t mean the side will be spared from meeting him in 2021. The 49ers have a road trip to to Nashville lined up in Week 16. And when that happens, the 49ers secondary might be in for a long night.

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Shivayan Roy

1068 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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