Sometimes playing the waiting game is a solid business strategy. But other times it could be an easy way to upset your team’s best player which is something that the Atlanta Falcons do not want to do to wide receiver Julio Jones.
As of right now, Jones is heading into the fourth year of a 5 year $71 million dollar deal he signed back in 2016. Since then Jones has vastly out performed his contract. In the first three seasons of his contract Jones has caught 284 passes for 4,530 yards and 17 touchdowns all while missing just two games.
He is widely regarded as the best wide receiver in football and at 30 years old still has a lot left in the tank for Atlanta. So why hasn’t the front office broken out the gold bars? Since the summer Jones and has been trying to work with the Falcons on a new deal but things are yet to solidify.
“We’ll have to let things take their course,”said Falcons owner Arthur Blank to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week. “I know that we are definitely in serious negotiations. It’s out goal and their goal as well to get it done before the start of the season.”
The Falcons season begins this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings which means he team plan to get a deal done in the next six days. But with a player of Jones’caliber it’s a bit perplexing how a franchise doesn’t just make him the highest paid player at his position.
You can’t blame it on his age, or his health or his lack of production which points towards the team wanting to try and save money wherever they can. It’s an understandable move when running a team but underpaying your best player doesn’t seem like the right time to try and save some pennies.
“Obviously, Julio is a special player for us and, of course, we’d like to have it done as soon as possible.”Said Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas is currently the highest paid receiver in the NFL with a 5 year $96 million deal with roughly $60 million guaranteed. Jones will be looking for a contract that at least meets those parameters.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77