With Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, and T.Y. Hilton all receiving new mega-deals this offseason, the focus on the wide receiver market has now turned to Julio Jones and A.J. Green, the next star wideouts in line for lucrative new extensions. While we haven’t heard many concrete updates on Green’s situation with the Bengals, recent reports have suggested Jones and the Falcons are making progress.
Despite the fact that the two sides have yet to reach an agreement, there’s still optimism in Atlanta that a deal is on the way. On Monday, Falcons owner Arthur Blank told Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com that there’s no cause for concern when it comes to Jones’ contract.
“There’s no hold up at all,” Blank said. “It’s just the process that you have to go through. It’s a bit of a dance. He’s got a very good agent with experience. We have a great relationship with [agent Jimmy Sexton]. That [agency] has signed the last two big receiver contracts done in the league. We’re committed to Julio, who is committed to us. We’re getting close to where we need to be.”
Blank’s suggestion that the Falcons are “getting close” to where they need to be in contract talks indicates that an extension for Jones could be right around the corner. However, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (Twitter link) throws some cold water on that notion, citing sources who say that negotiations between the two sides “stalled significantly” last week.
When the Broncos and Thomas were negotiating their new agreement earlier this summer, we heard similar reports about stalled talks and a large gap between proposals, but the team and player ultimately reached a deal at the last minute. The Falcons would probably like to get some resolution one way or another on Jones’ contract before the season begins, so there’s still plenty of time between now and Week 1 for discussions to reignite and for Atlanta to reach a compromise with its top playmaker.