Falcons owner Arthur Blank tells Jeff Schultz of The Athletic that they are “very, very close” to signing WR Julio Jones to a long-term extension. In fact, Blank thinks they’ll have an agreement in place by the end of the week.
“I’d be surprised and disappointed if we didn’t get it done this week,” Blank said. “I think it’s very reasonable to assume it will get done this week.”
Blank also spoke with Vaughn McClure and said he’s optimistic that a deal will get done.
“I’m optimistic that we’ll get something done, so I’m not going to focus on something that I consider a remote possibility,’’ Blank said of Jones missing the game. “There’s no obstacle, per se. When you’re talking about a contract for that much money over that period of time for a premier, outstanding player, it’s just very complicated. It’s not cut and dry. We just need to be thoughtful about it from our standpoint, as he does from his standpoint. He’s at a critical time in his career, and we respect that. We’re just going through a pretty normal process to get to where we need to be.’’
The Falcons have made it clear that getting a long-term deal in place with Jones before the start of the regular season is their top priority. However, there hasn’t been a lot of reported progress in recent weeks.
Jones could and likely will end up being the highest-paid receiver in NFL history when all is said and done.
Jones, 30, is a former first-round pick of the Falcons back in 2011. He’s currently in the fifth year of his six-year, $81.432 million contract that includes $47 million guaranteed and stands to make a base salary of $12.5 million for the 2019 season.
The Falcons adjusted Jones’ contract last year to pay him an additional $2.9 million in 2018 and included a $4.4 million signing bonus.
In 2018, Jones appeared in all 16 games for the Falcons and caught 113 passes for 1,677 yards receiving and eight touchdowns.
We’ll have more regarding a new deal for Jones as the news is available.