Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Breer: Falcons discussed Julio Jones trade with 49ers, other NFC West teams

Jun 7, 2021 at 9:49 AM--

The Atlanta Falcons were really trying to move Julio Jones' salary. Eventually, they were able to strike a deal with the Tennessee Titans for the veteran receiver. That was after trying to gauge interest with several others.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reports that the Falcons reached out to all four NFC West teams, which, of course, includes the San Francisco 49ers (h/t to Josh Schrock of NBC Sports). While it has been reported that there was some interest from head coach Kyle Shanahan and company, Breer is reporting that Atlanta never received a real offer from any team within the division.

Of course, the Falcons may have been more interested in trading Jones to the AFC and may have been looking for more from any interested NFC teams. While the 49ers lack a first-round pick until 2024, Shanahan, who worked two seasons (2015-16) with Jones in Atlanta, at least gave the impression that he would have liked to work with the wideout again.

Jones didn't land with the 49ers. But the good news is that he didn't land with a division rival.

"It would have been a hell of a deal, but my second-favorite choice is him being in the AFC," Shanahan said on Sunday from the Sonoma Raceway. "... Number one, him not being in our division is a huge deal. The AFC is the second favorite. But Julio's the man."

The comments seem to indicate that Shanahan was at least interested in the possibility of adding Jones. However, the lack of first-round picks over the next two drafts may have San Francisco leaning toward holding onto as much of its more valuable draft capital as possible.

Jones' salary may have also been an issue. Some salary-cap maneuvering may have made the addition possible, but the receiver is due $38.3 million in base salary over the next three years.

Breer adds that the Falcons also engaged in discussions with the Baltimore Ravens. The New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders reportedly "never showed real interest" in trading for Jones.

And for those curious about the report that the Falcons had received an offer that included a first-round pick, Breer states that was not necessarily the case.

"No first-round pick was ever offered," wrote Breer. "And really, only once did a future 1 come up, and that was as part of a pick swap—so it wouldn't have been a clean 1—and never got to the point where the team in question actually made an offer."

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