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Falcons GM: It’s a given Jones will be highest-paid WR

Field Level Media

August 09, 2019 at 5:58 pm.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff is very close to making Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones a very happy — and rich — man.

Dimitroff said Thursday night during the TV broadcast of Atlanta’s preseason game with the Miami Dolphins that a new contract for Jones was imminent.

“I think it’s around the corner,” said Dimitroff, who added the Falcons expect to make Jones the NFL’s highest-paid receiver. “He’ll be happy with what he gets.

“We continue to have our talks and negotiations. I don’t have an exact time on it. I’m not concerned about it; he’s not concerned about it.”

Division rival New Orleans helped raise the bar for wide receiver contracts with a five-year, $100 million deal with Michael Thomas that reset the market.

“We know what Julio is in this league,” Dimitroff said prior to the Hall of Fame Game last week. “We have a very good idea of approximately where he’s going to be, which I won’t share specifically. 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.

“And again, where we approach it with Julio, we look at everything, of course. We believe that he should be the … highest-paid receiver in the league. And I know he believes that. It’s just how we’re going to approach this and how we’re going to get it done. I believe it’s right around the corner, but I don’t want know when it is.”

Jones, 30, is in training camp, declining to hold out. He is in the fourth year of a five-year contract extension signed in 2015 that pays him an average of $14.25 million a season.

“We want Julio here for the rest of his career, whatever that is,” Dimitroff said.

The Falcons drafted Jones, an Alabama product, with the No. 6 overall pick of the 2011 draft. He’s a two-time All-Pro and has 698 catches for 10,731 yards and 51 touchdowns in his career.

In 2018, he led the league with 1,677 receiving yards and an average of 104.8 yards per game.