With another NFC South wide receiver accelerating the market, the division’s long-reigning pass-catching kingpin remains in talks with the Falcons about what would be his second contract extension.
Michael Thomas may not end up signing until Julio Jones resets the market, and the Falcons are confident they will have a new deal with Jones by the time they reconvene for training camp, Dianna Russini of ESPN.com tweets.
After skipping Falcons OTAs for a second straight year, the 30-year-old wideout reported to Falcons minicamp. Reports of progress on this front have emerged for weeks now, pointing to Jones becoming the NFL’s new highest-paid receiver. Two years remain on his 2015 extension, but Jones has lobbied for a new contract since the 2018 offseason — before Odell Beckham Jr. signed his five-year, $90MM deal. Beckham’s $18MM-per-year pact and Antonio Brown‘s redone deal — which reset his APY figure to $19.8MM — lead the receiver market.
Going into his ninth season, Jones is coming off his sixth Pro Bowl slate and second-highest single-season yardage total. He posted a 1,677-yard season in 2018, leading the league in receiving but falling short of a third first-team All-Pro honor. The Falcons, though, clearly view him as a cornerstone part of their hopeful resurgence and look set to reward Jones for his years of top-flight WR1 play.
The Falcons hold barely $6MM in cap space but could add to that figure by completing a Grady Jarrett deal. The standout defensive tackle is attached to a $15.2MM cap number. Arthur Blank said last month he envisioned Julio Jones, Jarrett and contract-year linebacker Deion Jones as “Falcons for life.”
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