Falcons prepared to make Julio Jones the highest-paid wide receiver

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Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff did not mince words when talking about Julio Jones’ contract situation. The two parties continue to work towards and deal, and neither side feels as if there is a deadline they are rushing to meet.

“He’s in a great spot, we’re in a great spot,” Dimitroff said, initially reported by the Atlanta Falcons official site. “We continue to have our negotiations. I’m confident, I don’t have an exact timeline, but I’m not concerned about it, he’s not concerned about it … It’s just a matter of where it’s all going to land. As you know, you get a little creative and see how it is. I think it’s around the corner.”

This coincides with what Dimitroff said earlier in the week when on the NFL Network.

“We know what Julio is in this league. We have a very good idea of approximately where he’s going to be, which I won’t share specifically,” Dimitroff said, via SI.com. “The good thing is we’ve never been held by our owner to be limiting someone, and we’re very good with our football players here. We feel very proud of how we approach it.”

Michael Thomas recently reached a deal with the Saints to become the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. The contract is worth $96.25 million over five years, which averages out to $19.25 million per season. Ideally, given the nature of the NFL and the fact Julio Jones is a better player than Thomas, the Falcons would have come to an agreement before the Saints did with their franchise receiver. Now, they don’t have a choice but to top what Thomas was given.

The determining factors of Jones’ deal will be in the details. The star wideout is 30 years old and has two years remaining on his contract. How long will they be willing to extend him? 2-3 more years, maybe – with an AAV of over $20 million – would be my guess. If they go any longer than that, it’s highly doubtful the latter years will come with much-guaranteed money.

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