Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff mentioned that they plan to shift their focus to signing WR Julio Jones to a long-term contract extension.
“There is no question that our focus in the future will be on Julio Jones and where we are,” Dimitroff tells Vaughn McClure ESPN.com. “I don’t want to get into specifics about the timing of that, obviously. But now that the draft is over and we continue to build this football team, we understand that Julio is a very important part of our building and evolving as a championship-type team.”
According to McClure, there have been no discussions between the Falcons and Jones’ agent, Jimmy Sexton, up to this point.
Dimtroff was asked if the history with Jones’ injury history could be an issue of concern for them in long-term contract negotiations.
“That’s not my concern right now,” Dimitroff said. “That’s not my concern, period.”
Jones, 26, finished out his four-year, $16.183 million rookie contract, but the Falcons protected themselves by picking up his fifth-year option that will pay him a non-guaranteed salary of $10.176 million for the 2015 season.
The Falcons can still negotiate a long-term deal that will reduce his 2015 cap figures and keep him under team control for the foreseeable future, even after exercising his option.
In 2014, Jones caught 104 passes for 1,593 yards receiving and six touchdowns over the course of 15 games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 6 receiver out of 110 qualifying players this past season.
We’ll have more regarding a potential long-term deal for Jones as the news is available.