With the bar set for elite NFL wide receivers, there is a “general sense” the Atlanta Falcons and Julio Jones could have an extension signed before the start of training camp.
The Falcons open camp on July 31, meaning the team has two weeks to hammer out a deal with the stud receiver.
ESPN’s Vaughn McClure notes the two sides have yet to come to the negotiating table at this time. But with Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas both receiving five-year deals worth $70 million right before the deadline on Wednesday, the market is firmly set.
This makes things significantly easier for Atlanta, which has been waiting to see where those contracts landed before engaging in conversations on this front with Jones and his agent.
Former defensive back Ryan Clark, now with ESPN, agrees Jones should receive a similar contract:
“Players are all worth as much as they’ll give them, but I think Julio deserves to be in the Dez range. Definitely more than [Mike] Wallace. If more than Dez, not much more.”
Jones, when healthy, is unstoppable in the open field. His size, speed, and strength make him no match more most NFL defensive backs, which has led to huge statistical performances. The past two years, Jones has averaged over 100 yards per game, catching 145 passes for 2,173 yards in 20 games.
There isn’t as much pressure on Jones and the Falcons to get a deal done as there was in the case of Bryant and Thomas. That said, it is going to be easier to get a contract signed right now with the market established as it is at this time.
Chances are, we’re going to have another receiver with a huge smile on his face in the next two weeks when Jones signs on the dotted line.
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