The Falcons hope to have All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones’ contract extension done before the start of the season.
“I would hope so, but I don’t know that,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday. “We’ll have to let things take their course. I know that we are definitely in serious negotiations. It’s our goal and their goal as well to get it done before the start of the season.”
The Falcons play their final exhibition game Thursday in Jacksonville and open the regular season Sept. 8 in Minnesota. The team has been working on an extension for the 30-year-old Jones, a six-time Pro Bowler who’s on the verge of breaking the franchise’s record for career receiving yards.
The wide receiver market shifted when the Saints signed Michael Thomas to a five-year, $96.25 million deal that has the potential to surpass the $100 million mark. The 26-year-old Thomas, a second-round pick out of Ohio State in 2016 has three 1,000 yard seasons to start his career and was an All-Pro last season.
Jones said recently that his agent, Jimmy Sexton, is still in the process of negotiating his contract extension. Sexton has not responded to several email and phone calls requesting an interview.
It has been projected that Jones’ deal would be a three-year deal worth $51.8 million with $33 million guaranteed at signing, according to Spotrac. Jones’ deal has two years remaining and is scheduled to make $9.6 million in 2019 and $11.4 million in 2020.
Blank stood behind his statement that Jones would be a “Falcon for life.”
“I’ve said this publicly and privately to Julio and Julio has said the same thing to me, both privately and publicly,” Blank said. “We expect Julio to be a Falcon for life and we have no reason to think that’s going to change at all.
“The negotiations continue to move along in a positive way. It’s a big contract and it’s complex and what have you. It takes a little more time than we’d like. Probably a little more time than he would like, but I know we are in a good place.”
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