Market now set for Falcons to do Julio Jones extension

FLOWERY BRANCH – Now that Dallas and Denver have reached contract deals with wide receivers Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas, the market is set for Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones.

Bryant, who had threaten to holdout if a deal was not reached by the 4 p.m. deadline for franchise players, agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract with $20 million signing bonus and $45 million guaranteed, according to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Also, Demaryirus Thomas, who's represented by Atlanta-based agent Todd France, agreed to a five-year, $70-million deal with $43.5 million guaranteed.

Both deals average $14 million per year, but did not top the top receiver deal. Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson signed a seven-year, $113.45 million deal, with $53.25 million guaranteed. Johnson’s $16.207 average per year is tops in the league and was troublesome for the Cowboys and the Denver Broncos.

The NFLPA had alleged collusion charges and were ready to proceed if new deals were not reached by today’s deadline.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter

With Bryant and Thomas’ deals done, the Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals have some clear parameters for deals for Julio Jones and A.J. Green.

Jones is set to enter the last year of his rookie contract with a base salary of $10.176 million in 2015. The main issue facing the Falcons is how to work out a deal that doesn’t cripple the team’s long-range goals.

If the Falcons, who reportedly have not held any discussions with Jones’ representation, can’t work out a long-term deal, Jones, like Bryant and Thomas did, could get the franchise tag. He could be tagged twice for an average for about $15.4 million, according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports, a former agent and their sports business analyst.

Jones has already said he doesn’t plan to holdout and figures that the business will work itself out. He’s represented by Jimmy Sexton.

The Falcons have repeatedly expressed a desire to retain Jones.


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