For the entire offseason, all reports have suggested that a Julio Jones contract extension is right around the corner. Both sides have been insistent that they are confident a deal will get done in a timely manner. But here we are, five days before the season, and now there is speculation that a Julio Jones holdout could be on the horizon. Vaughn Mcclure of ESPN expressed his opinion on the matter yesterday, saying he doesn’t think the star wide receiver will play in week one without a new contract.
Julio back with the group for warmups. Will see how things progress this week but don’t see him playing Sunday without new deal. Just my opinion. Next two days key pic.twitter.com/B3KTzZLj0g
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 2, 2019
There was speculation for a while that a deal was already in place, but the two sides had yet to announce it publicly. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has long led that hypothesis but recently has reported that the two sides do not have a deal in place and while Julio Jones has yet to make a fuss about it; it is beginning to become a problem internally.
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) September 3, 2019
Thomas Dimitroff has repeatedly stated the Falcons are prepared to make him the highest-paid wide receiver in the league. That bar was set by Michael Thomas earlier this offseason, who signed a contract extension with the Saints worth $96.25 million over five years.
We’ve heard Julio Jones talk about Michael Thomas and Amari Cooper, who is also looking for a new deal. Jones referred to them as “not in the same boat” as himself. He’s right – neither of those receivers can hold a candle to what Julio has done in his career. However, they are both significantly younger than Jones. If Atlanta’s star receiver is looking for a five-year deal with loads of guaranteed money; it could be why these negotiations are taking much longer than expected. The Falcons open up with two tough games – on the road against the Vikings followed by a home matchup with the Eagles. They can’t afford to have Jones sitting at home.