Kyle Shanahan: I’m very glad Julio Jones landed in the AFC

Denver Broncos v Atlanta Falcons
Getty Images

Before the Titans executed a trade to acquire Julio Jones, the 49ers were one of the betting favorites to land the wide receiver.

If San Francisco had made it happen, it would have reunited Jones with head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was Jones’ offensive coordinator with the Falcons in 2015 and 2016. Jones led the league in both receptions and yards in their first year together.

But Jones will not be heading out west. On Sunday, Shanahan said that because Jones didn’t end up in San Francisco, this result isn’t all that bad.

I’m very glad he’s in the AFC,” Shanahan said, via Matt Maiocco of “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 Rams also had some reported interest in Jones, but backed off late last month. Then the Seahawks became the betting favorite earlier this week. Either team would have put significant stress on the 49ers secondary twice a year.

“No. 1, him not being in our division is a huge deal,” Shanahan said.

The 49ers will go to Nashville to take on the Titans in Week 16 this year, so Shanahan’s club isn’t completely off the hook.

“Julio’s the man,” Shanahan said. “Everyone knows how good of a player he is. Tennessee got a hell of a player.”