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Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones signed contracts this week. When will Julio Jones get his?

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https://theathletic.com/1082624/2019/07/17/grady-jarrett-deion-jones-signed-contracts-this-week-when-will-julio-jones-get-his/

 

It sure has been a busy week for the Falcons. Two of the three offseason contracts they wanted to get done are now finalized. On Monday, Atlanta secured defensive tackle Grady Jarrett with a four-year, $68 million contract. Only two days later, the Falcons were able to ensure another key defensive player remained with the franchise.

With agent Drew Rosenhaus in town Wednesday, Atlanta signed linebacker Deion Jones to a four-year extension, the team announced. The deal is worth a reported $57 million, with $34 million guaranteed. Jones, who was named to the Pro Bowl following the 2017 season, was previously set to play out the final year of his rookie contract. Instead, the Falcons are in a good spot defensively. They don’t have to worry about two of their key pieces of the middle of the defense.

Of course, now there is a certain someone on the offensive side of the ball who will, and should, demand a lot of attention — a certain someone who happened to be eating egg rolls on a private jet prior to Deion Jones’ contract announcement.

With Jarrett and Jones securing new deals this week, Atlanta’s front office will turn all of its attention to superstar receiver Julio Jones. A new contract was promised and remains scheduled to happen. It’s now a matter of when, not if. Julio Jones, in a recent interview with TMZ Sports, described owner Arthur Blank’s word as “golden,” indicating he would not hold out of training camp.

It’s possible matters such as the salary cap and whether Jones will play out the entirety of this contract could be a discussion point inside the front office. If so, those are minor details. In fact, what does appear to be holding up the process has more to do with the bigger picture and state of upcoming contracts for a few other high-profile receivers.

Whenever the next elite receiver signs a mega-deal, it shouldn’t be long to see others follow suit shortly thereafter. And that could be as early as in the next couple of weeks.

But first, here’s a quick rundown on who is currently receiving the highest average annual value in salary among the NFL’s receivers.

  • Odell Beckham, Jr., Cleveland Browns: $18 million per year
  • Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders: $16.7 million per year
  • Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $16.5 million per year
  • Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings: $16.2 million per year
  • Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams: $16.2 million per year
  • Deandre Hopkins, Houston Texans: $16.2 million per year
  • Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs: $16 million per year

On this list, six receivers are earning between $16-16.7 million per season. Only Beckham is making more at $18 million.

Of the next group of receivers due for big contracts, excluding Jones, there are at least three who can stake a claim for being among the highest-paid in the NFL.

  • Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
  • Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
  • A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos

With the salary cap seemingly increasing every year, it’s not unreasonable to assume the first domino to fall will involve a receiver signing for $20 million per year. At some point, one of these receivers will accept a big contract, which would then set up a chain reaction with others. However, Sanders is 32 years old and coming off an Achilles injury. Sanders, in the final year of a three-year, $33 million deal, also publicly stated that he doesn’t want to restructure the final year of his contract, which would set him up for free agency in 2020. And it goes without saying that he wouldn’t be in the mega-deal conversation.

If not for his off-field issues, Hill would be in line for a massive payday. But the Chiefs, for obvious reasons, can’t afford to extend Hill to a huge contract at the present time.

That leaves Thomas, Green and Cooper competing with Jones when it comes to who will ink the most lucrative deal for a wide receiver.

According to Jeff Duncan, now with The Athletic but previously with the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Thomas and New Orleans were $4 million apart per season during negotiations in late June. The Saints were OK with paying out $18 million per year, with Thomas’ representation asking for $22 million per year. Usually, in these circumstances, the player and team ultimately meet in the middle. And like most teams ready to pay up, the Saints probably want to get a deal done before or early into training camp.

Likewise, Green, who at 30 years old is still among the game’s best at the position, is eyeing another extension. The Bengals would also probably prefer to get a deal done before camp begins, but there is no reason for Green not to accept a contract that is at least in the realm of the ones his peers are going to receive. In 2015, Green waited for the NFL’s other receivers to lock up their contracts before signing his and earned more money than both Jones and Dez Bryant.

Cooper, who is set to play the 2019 season under his fifth-year option, is also poised to earn a ton of money. Considering he is only 24 years old and playing under a fifth-year option worth $13.9 million, Cooper has some leverage to wait out everyone else before signing his extension. If he chooses this route, Cooper could ultimately come away with the richest contract for a receiver during this particular cycle.

As for Jones and the Falcons, talks have remained smooth despite the fact a deal hasn’t reached a conclusion yet. In the end, however, it should work out rather nicely for Jones. If his deal was rushed, he could potentially set a market other receivers would then quickly pass. By waiting, he can potentially ensure he doesn’t leave any money on the table.

In due time, Jones will get the extension he wants. While he could start training camp without one, it shouldn’t take too long — barring the unforeseen — before it’s wrapped up.

Considering how Atlanta has handled Deion Jones and Jarrett, the Falcons couldn’t afford to promise their star receiver and locker room leader an extension and then fail to deliver.

 

athell likes this

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Deion Jones' contract seemed to be complete very quickly. Jarrett was announced and then almost immediately, Jones was done. Great to have two key pieces in place long term.

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3 hours ago, ATLSlobberKnockers said:

17 per

22.... No way it's less than 20. 

.... Also I think anything over 18 is idiotic to spend on anyone in that position 

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32 minutes ago, mashburn*Fibonacci said:

22.... No way it's less than 20. 

.... Also I think anything over 18 is idiotic to spend on anyone in that position 

No chance. Did we not learn anything from the idiotic Grady Jarrett speculation?

kiwifalcon and The Daywalker like this

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Doubt he gets $2m more per than ODB.  They'll make it $18.2 per just so he can say he's the highest paid WR for a minute.  5-years ~$91m.  5th year will be structured with very little dead money, so that it's effectively a 4-year.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Duff_Man said:

No chance. Did we not learn anything from the idiotic Grady Jarrett speculation?

Julio already asked for to much last year. What makes you think he's finally thought to become reasonable. Because if he did that he would finish his contract for this year. 

Furthermore Thomas isn't signing for anything less than 20/year. 

Edited by mashburn*Fibonacci

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57 minutes ago, Brewcrew said:

Doubt he gets $2m more per than ODB.  They'll make it $18.2 per just so he can say he's the highest paid WR for a minute.  5-years ~$91m.  5th year will be structured with very little dead money, so that it's effectively a 4-year.

One big printed. Thomas won't sign his contract that's at 18 right now on the table. And Thomas is at 22. 

Julio will definitely want more than Thomas

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8 minutes ago, mashburn*Fibonacci said:

Julio already asked for to much last year. What makes you think he's finally thought to become reasonable. Because if he did that he would finish his contract for this year. 

Furthermore Thomas isn't signing for anything less than 20/year. 

He obviously didn’t ask for enough....:ninja:

Glad to see you’re back to your normal, healthy dissing Julio self, Mash-man. 

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10 hours ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

You been messin around...

Me First and the Gimmee Gimmee's have an awesome cover of that song...

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Talking about contracts using average per year salaries is doing it wrong. 

The only things that matter are the new money and the guarantee structures. Thats it. APY isnt irrelevant but its minimally useful. 

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I still think the idea Aaron Rodgers proposed of every team having one franchise contract that doesn't count against the salary cap would be great for all players and teams.  

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1 hour ago, g-dawg said:

It’s gonna be $20mm/yr effective.  Probably a 4yr deal.

4yr, $80mm with $60mm guaranteed.   

I dont think this is all that likely. 

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1 minute ago, Joey563 said:

I still think the idea Aaron Rodgers proposed of every team having one franchise contract that doesn't count against the salary cap would be great for all players and teams.  

I wouldnt be shocked to see something like that work its way into the next CBA. Some sort of diminished cap hit for players with long team relationships or some version of NFL Bird Rights. 

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1 minute ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

I wouldnt be shocked to see something like that work its way into the next CBA. Some sort of diminished cap hit for players with long team relationships or some version of NFL Bird Rights. 

The first team that comes to mind that would benefit from it was the Saints from a couple of years ago. When Brees signed that crazy contract and the Saints were cap-strapped; imagine if his contract didn't count. They would have had tons of money to solidify their team.

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19 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Talking about contracts using average per year salaries is doing it wrong. 

The only things that matter are the new money and the guarantee structures. Thats it. APY isnt irrelevant but its minimally useful. 

It's almost like we have to say this....every....year....and it doesn't matter because...

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