JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Seahawks may have problem on their hands if 49ers get Julio Jones

May 27, 2021, 1:50 PM
Seahawks Julio Jones...
With Julio Jones likely to get traded, he may end up in the Seahawks' division. (Getty)
(Getty)

A scary thought for the Seahawks is the possibility of the San Francisco 49ers acquiring wide receiver Julio Jones in a trade.

Heaps: How can Bobby Wagner be even better? ‘Play downhill more’

There is no doubt the 49ers are interested. San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan had Jones when he was offensive coordinator in Atlanta. He’s been to seven Pro Bowls and has had a great career since the Falcons traded up to get him in 2011.

Last year Jones was bothered by a hamstring injury that cut him down to nine games. He still had 51 catches for 771 yards, but he’s used to getting 99 receptions or more. He’s had three seasons of 100-plus catches.

The problem for the Seahawks is that if Jones ends up with the 49ers, he will be a taller receiver at a time where losing Shaquill Griffin in free agency has put the Seahawks’ cornerback position in transition. He’s 6 foot 3, 220 pounds, and the Seahawks appear to be going smaller at corner in 2021.

It’s not out of the question for the Seahawks to start two former 49ers – D.J. Reed and Ahkello Witherspoon – at cornerback. Witherspoon matches up well against Jones. He’s 6-3 and 198 pounds. Tre Flowers, who started seven games in 2020, also matches well with Jones’ size at 6-3 and 203. Reed, however, is just 5-9 and 188 pounds.

Cornerback will be the Seahawks’ most competitive position in camp. They drafted 5-10, 188-pound Tre Brown in the fourth round, and also signed Pierre Desir, who is 6-1 and 198. While Reed is likely to be one of Seattle’s starters on the outside, the other spot is up for grabs.

Wyman: Why Tre Brown convinced Seahawks to break CB mold

For the moment, we know that the 49ers aren’t meeting the Falcons’ demand of a No. 1 draft choice for Jones. San Francisco traded away first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 in their move to trade up to draft quarterback Trey Lance. Baltimore, New England and Tennessee are among the other teams talking to the Falcons about Jones, and reports are one team has offered Atlanta a No. 1 for him.

It’s doubtful Jones will be traded before next Tuesday because his salary cap hit is too big. The Falcons, who are so tight against the cap, haven’t signed any of their draft choices and need to wait past June 1 when they can push $15.5 million of pro-ration into next season. Before Tuesday, they would have to take a $20.5 million cap hit if they traded Jones.

Things should move quickly with Jones next week.

Follow John Clayton on Twitter.

More from John: What QB rankings say about Seahawks, NFC West

John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
  • 710AM ESPN SeattleTune in to 710 ESPN Seattle on Saturday mornings for The John Clayton Show.

The Professor's Notes

John Clayton hosts a daily video breaking down the NFL

John Clayton

Seahawks Geno Smith...
John Clayton

Clayton: At 2-4, pressure’s on for the Seahawks at pivotal point in season

The Seahawks need a win in the worst way Monday night against the 3-2 Saints. John Clayton breaks down the matchup and why it's so pivotal.
3 days ago
Seahawks CB D.J. Reed...
John Clayton

Clayton: Seahawks may be 2-4, but they’re also making needed progress

The Seahawks may have come away with a tough OT loss to the Steelers, but John Clayton says there was plenty of good for Seattle in Week 6.
7 days ago
Seahawks Alex Collins...
John Clayton

Clayton: Why banged-up, struggling Seahawks have a shot vs Steelers

The Seahawks will be without Russell Wilson and Chris Carson on Sunday, but the Pittsburgh Steelers has their own share of issues.
10 days ago
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson...
John Clayton

Clayton: Where the Seahawks currently stand after Russell Wilson’s injury

With Russell Wilson out of action, John Clayton takes a look at where the Seahawks stand at quarterback and as a team in general.
14 days ago
Seahawks Tyler Lockett...
John Clayton

Clayton: This Seahawks season has reached crisis mode

After losing to the Rams, the Seahawks are in trouble, John Clayton says. He breaks down where the 2-3 Hawks stand with Russell Wilson hurt.
17 days ago
Seahawks Pete Carroll Russell Wilson...
John Clayton

Clayton: Why it looks like Seahawks found themselves in win over 49ers

Pete Carroll kept saying the Seahawks would find themselves. It took until the second quarter, but they did to save the early part of the season.
21 days ago
Clayton: Seahawks may have problem on their hands if 49ers get Julio Jones