Falcons owner Arthur Blank says he feels very confident that star receiver Julio Jones will have a new five-year deal “very, very soon,” Gil Brandt of NFL.com tweets. At the moment, Jones is set to play the 2015 season on his fully guaranteed fifth-year option, worth $10.176MM.
The market for top-flight receivers was, of course, set just a few weeks ago, when Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant inked five-year, $70MM deals with their respective clubs. As our Luke Adams pointed out in his recent examination of Jones as an extension candidate, Jones is in line to land an even more lucrative contract, with an average annual value of over $15MM.
Jones’ numbers would certainly support such a deal. In 15 games, Jones racked up 1,593 yards and six touchdowns on 104 receptions, setting a new Falcons team record for most receiving yards in a season. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) also ranked him right behind Bryant and Thomas, despite the fact that he played fewer snaps than either player. However, a fractured foot limited Jones to just five games in 2013, he missed a game last season due to a hip pointer, and he has dealt with multiple hamstring issues in his professional career.
Jones confirmed to reporters late last month that talks were underway between his representatives and the Falcons, though he was unwilling to put a timetable on when a deal might get done. Blank’s comments could be an indication that a deal is coming in a matter of days, or even hours.