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ya_boi_j

Can the Falcons afford to keep Julio and pay everyone else

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The topic everyone keeps beating around the bush on. Think realistically and not emptionally

 

Can the Falcons afford to keep up with the Joneses into the future?

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Former NFL wide receiver Roy Green talks primarily football with Julio Jones, but Green has mentored Jones long enough to understand Jones' mindset on business matters.

When it comes to Jones' contract situation and the possibility of becoming the NFL's highest-paid receiver with the Atlanta Falcons, Green has a good sense of what Jones is thinking.

 
 

"I do know that his priority is for all of his players to get taken care of," Green said. "He doesn't want to break up the team because you have to pay him a certain amount of money. There are ways for him to get his money. His biggest talks are all about his teammates. His attitude is amazing. He's all about his teammates."

 

The Falcons will be hard-pressed to rework Julio Jones' deal and retain their key in-house free agents next season. Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire

Cleveland's Odell Beckham Jr. currently has the highest average annual salary among wide receivers at $18 million. Maybe Jones will reach or exceed that in a reworked deal, but his contract is just one of the subjects the Falcons have to address as they look toward the 2019 season and beyond.

The front office hasn't been overly active in free agency, with the most significant signings being offensive guards James Carpenter (four years, $21 million with $9.25 million guaranteed) and Jamon Brown (three years, $18.75 million with $12.75 million guaranteed). After placing the franchise tag on defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, the Falcons have until July 15 to sign him to an extension. If they don't, Jarrett will eat up $15.209 million in 2019 cap space.

The Falcons did, however, convert $8.75 million of quarterback Matt Ryan's 2019 base salary to a signing bonus to create $7 million in cap room, which occurred before the signings of Brown ($4.333 million '19 cap number) and Carpenter ($2.875 million '19 cap number). But tinkering with Ryan's contract puts money off into future years, so that could create a pinch later on.

The Falcons currently have $6,534,049 in cap room according to NFLPA figures, which ranks in the bottom five in the league. That's why they are at the point of signing guys such as veteran tight end Logan Paulsen to minimum salary benefits deals ($930,000 minimum base salary with a maximum of $90,000 additional compensation).

 

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To Green's point regarding Jones' team-first mindset, the Falcons have to be cognizant of the future regardless of how the 2019 roster comes together or how the 2019 season plays out. A source told ESPN that the team has already started talks on a contract extension for one-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Deion Jones, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The Falcons plan to exercise the fifth-year option on one-time Pro Bowl strong safety Keanu Neal in 2020, but they'll have to sign Neal to a long-term deal at some point as another core defensive player -- provided he fully recovers from last season's ACL tear.

One-time Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper, like Deion Jones, is entering the final year of his rookie deal and is bound for a long-term extension as well. The same goes for linebacker De'Vondre Campbell as part of that talented 2016 draft class. And the Falcons might have a tough decision to make with former first-round pick Vic Beasley if he has a bounce-back season in 2019. The team already committed to his $12.81 million now-guaranteed salary for this season, but coach Dan Quinn said Beasley would have to earn a long-term extension.

Peeking into 2020, the Falcons have about $43 million in cap space against a projected adjusted cap of $200 million based on their current contracts. That does not take into account potential deals for Jarrett, Deion Jones or Hooper; the fifth-year option for Neal; or a possible Beasley extension. And because the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the league's players and owners expires at the end of the 2020 season, planning beyond 2020 is tricky.

Looking back on it now, maybe the Falcons wish they would have gotten a hometown discount on Ryan's deal, which carries cap numbers of $33.55 million, $36.05 million and $36.80 million from 2020 to 2022. Then again, you have to reward your franchise quarterback after he's named the 2016 MVP.

As for Julio Jones, his cap numbers are $13.47 million and $12.89 million for the next two seasons. Former NFL agent and salary-cap expert Joel Corry foresees Jones getting a three-year, $60 million extension. At the same time, Jones and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, might want to wait and see how much other top receivers such as the Saints' Michael Thomas get first.

"I believe there are a handful of elite receivers -- of course, Julio being one of this group -- so, of course, he has the ability to be top paid," Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told ESPN.

"We're in the process, after free agency. Had a brief conversation with his representation and we'll continue to do that on the other side of free agency. Hopefully, we'll move along, and things will take care of itself."

Jones has at least one supporter backing him to be the highest paid at the position.

"This is me speaking, but it's very evident that he should be the highest paid," Green said. "He knows he's the best. It's not about statistics and things people want to write and say. All the things that he brings to the table are unparalleled."

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Posted (edited)

Julio has earned his payday and deserves it. Grady is a good ppayer but not elite at the position. It would really suck, but I'd sacrifice Grady for Deion and Julio's contracts.

Now between Grady, Hooper, Devondre and Keanu I'd say Keanu then Grady. Some tough decisions coming up

Edited by MD-FalconFan13

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Just now, Francis York Morgan said:

Not hating on you @ya_boi_j, and I do think JJ deserves to get paid, but got dayum I'm sick of this conversation.

Blame Vaughn

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Julio deserves his money......................................from the Colts!

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"I do know that his priority is for all of his players to get taken care of," Green said. "He doesn't want to break up the team because you have to pay him a certain amount of money. There are ways for him to get his money. His biggest talks are all about his teammates. His attitude is amazing. He's all about his teammates."

Vaughn stirring crap up for the sake of stirring crap up.

I'm with @Francis York Morgan though, I'm sick of this topic.

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Just now, Francis York Morgan said:

Sweet gig

He ain’t paying enough so I don’t post all his ****. Just the **** that I know has been beaten to death ;)

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Yes

It's all in how you spread out the contracts

Some players who are receiving big money now won't be on the team even next year

athell likes this

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3 hours ago, Falcons Fan MVP said:

I'd pay Julio before I would Grady. Deion may be more important than Julio though.

 

 

I wouldn’t. Julio is one of my favorite all-time players, but Father Time is undefeated. I’d rather have Grady in 2021 and beyond than Julio. 

slider likes this

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Any team that pays a WR QB money is destined to follow in the footsteps of the NY Giants. It's just a matter of when. The Falcons are already stripping down at some positions to accommodate these large deals.

I see all this love for Keanu Neal and folks are already talking about his money. The best ability is availability and he ain't there a lot. People fall in love with these guys sometimes and lose perspective.

NCFalconfan likes this

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22 minutes ago, NeonDeion said:

He’s gonna be as good as Roddy. Book it 

Maybe. I like Roddy's size over Ridley...

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Posted (edited)

15 minutes ago, Jesus said:

Maybe better. He is a more fluid route runner and has more TDs in his first season than Roddy had in his first three.

I agree. I think barring injury, Roddy is his floor. His ceiling is Harrison 

Edited by NeonDeion
Drew4719 likes this

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We are lucky to have a few superstars. 

Ryan, Julio, Debo....please pay them and move on.

Grady and Vic are great players, but not superstars, and therefore replaceable. 

 

HouseofEuphoria likes this

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14 hours ago, MD-FalconFan13 said:

Julio has earned his payday and deserves it. Grady is a good ppayer but not elite at the position. It would really suck, but I'd sacrifice Grady for Deion and Julio's contracts.

Now between Grady, Hooper, Devondre and Keanu I'd say Keanu then Grady. Some tough decisions coming up

Rule one of being a good GM: you never pay someone for what they have done in the past. Julio is a beast, but he's not going to produce more than he already has. Actually he would be declining and paying him more for what he did in 2016 won't be smart

FalconFanSince1970 likes this

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Posted (edited)

41 minutes ago, UnrealfalcoN said:

Rule one of being a good GM: you never pay someone for what they have done in the past. Julio is a beast, but he's not going to produce more than he already has. Actually he would be declining and paying him more for what he did in 2016 won't be smart

Also not smart, sending a message that you don't reward excellence. Julio has been nothing but professional and productive for us. To not pay him what he's EARNED would be a horrible message to the team and undermine the very concept of "Brotherhood". Julio is the opposite of guys like AB and OBJ while matching or exceeding their on field production. Its asinine to consider stiffing him. Not to mention he's still in his prime and a huge part of what we do on offense. 

We can't justify paying Matt, paying Rico, paying Freeman and then not paying a guy that's better than both of them at his position. Sometimes the right path isn't easy, but it doesn't change the fact that it's the right path. 

Edited by MD-FalconFan13

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