Report: Falcons Confident of Julio Jones Contract Extension Before Training Camp

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2019

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons reportedly plan on keeping wide receiver Julio Jones for the foreseeable future.

According to ESPN's Dianna Russini, the Falcons "are confident that they will agree to a long-term contract extension" with the Alabama product prior to the start of training camp. Jones would become an unrestricted free agent following the 2020 campaign under his current contract.

While Jones is 30 years old and may be on the back end of his prime, he has given the Falcons every reason to commit to him for more than just the two seasons left on his deal.

Atlanta selected him with the No. 6 pick in the 2011 draft, and he wasted little time establishing himself as one of the best players in the league. He has made the Pro Bowl in six of his first eight seasons, including the last five, and is a matchup nightmare because of his 6'3", 220-pound size and abilities to high-point fades and beat defenders in traffic.

Jones appeared in just five games in 2013 but has been durable since, missing just three contests. He led the league in receiving yards with 1,871 in 2015 and again with 1,677 last year and has four seasons with eight or more touchdown catches.

The Falcons are in win-now mode as well with 34-year-old quarterback Matt Ryan and 27-year-old running back Devonta Freeman as two of the other primary players on offense, so inking Jones to an extension could give Ryan his top receiver for the rest of his career.

In March, general manager Thomas Dimitroff talked to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the extension negotiations: "We have had really good conversations with them. There is no particular time on that. I'm not concerned about it, nor is he. We'll get that figured out."

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