Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff 'Very Encouraged' by Julio Jones Contract Talks

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IMay 11, 2019

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 09:  Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons runs a route in the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 09, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Julio Jones is not set to become an unrestricted free agent until 2021, but the Atlanta Falcons are already working to prevent their All-Pro receiver from flying the coop. 

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said Saturday that he's "very encouraged" by extension talks between the team, Jones and Jones' agent, Jimmy Sexton, according to The Athletic's Jeff Schultz

"Both parties are in a good place," Dimitroff continued. "There's no timetable, but I'm not worried. Julio will be around while we're working on it." 

The expectation, Dimitroff also relayed through Schultz, is for Jones to be present at the Falcons' minicamp from June 11 to June 13. 

        

Jones did not attend Atlanta's June minicamp ahead of last season because of contract disagreements between the two sides, which was resolved on July 25 when a revised contract was agreed upon to adjust his 2018 salary to include an additional $2.9 million.

That $2.9 million was moved from Jones' 2019 salary. 

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In 2018, Jones surprisingly did not find the end zone until Nov. 4 (Week 9) against Washington. From there, the six-time Pro Bowler pieced together a season that led the league in receiving yards (1,677) and yards per game (104.8). 

Even before scoring a touchdown, Jones' first game of 2018 resulted in 10 receptions for 169 yards. 

All of which is to say, Jones is undoubtedly the Falcons' best weapon and should be paid as such. 

In March, Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman reported that Atlanta and Jones were closing in on a deal that would make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL at $20 million per year over either four or five years. 

However, Freeman added: "As with any negotiations, contract talks are always fluid, and things can change in an instant. The talks with Jones could take longer, or fall apart, or continue to proceed smoothly. it's also always possible sources are exaggerating the pace of the talks and things aren't close." 

Given that was written on March 22 and it hasn't happened yet, the good news for both sides is that the talks are ongoing.

Jones joined the 10,000 career receiving yards club last season alongside Antonio Brown, Calvin Johnson, Jerry Rice and Torry Holt. He turned 30 years old in February.



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