Expert: Falcons likely to make minor adjustment to Julio Jones’ contract

Falcons traded away five draft picks to select Julio Jones sixth overall in 2011

The Falcons are expected to make an adjustment to All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones’ contract and not grant an extension, according to CBS Sports NFL business analyst Joel Corry.

Corry, a former agent for 16 years, Emory graduate and NFL salary cap expert, wrote a column about 12 prime candidates to sign contract extensions prior to the season and did not include Jones' in that grouping.

“It would be a mild surprise if the Falcons extended the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver's contract since he has three years remaining,” Corry said. “It's more likely for the Falcons to make a minor adjustment to Jones' contract by adding unlikely-to-be-earned incentives or increasing his 2018 compensation by taking money from his 2019 base salary.”

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That’s the move that Pittsburgh made to sweeten wide receiver Antonio Brown’s contract. New England made a similar move with tight end Rob Gronkowski.

“Other teams have done these things when elite players who felt underpaid were at similar stages of their contracts,” Corry noted.

Jones did not participate in the team’s offseason program and skipped the mandatory minicamp. He missed out on a small workout bonus ($3,225) and opened himself up to be fined by the team for $84,435.

Jones signed a five-year, $71.2 million contract extension Aug. 31, 2015. The deal included $47 million in guaranteed money, with base salaries of $10.5 million (2018), $12.5 million (2019) and $11.4 million (2020). He’s set to be the seventh-highest paid wide receiver in the league (based on salary cap hit), but has three years remaining on the deal.

The Falcons have not made it a practice of tearing up contracts with three years left. They re-configured Roddy White’s contract in 2009 with one year left after a brief holdout.

Over the offseason the wide receiver market changed as Jarvis Landry landed a five-year, $75-million deal with Cleveland, Mike Evans signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with Tampa Bay and Sammy Watkins signed a three-year, $48 million deal with Kansas City.

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