Jones has three years left on the five-year, $71 million contract extension he signed a few years ago, but his base salaries of $10.5 million, $12.5 million, and $11.4 million over those three years are not exactly commensurate with his talent level given how receiver contracts have exploded over the last few years. They're set to rank sixth, sixth, and eighth at the position over the next three years, per Spotrac, and it's not surprising that Jones would rather be paid like the best receiver in the NFL. So, he's holding out.
Fortunately for the Falcons, coach Dan Quinn says that the team and the star wideout have been talking dollars and cents.
"The good news is that there are conversations that have begun," Quinn said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We'll keep those private. I have a lot of faith in the organization and also in Julio that things will get resolved with good communications. I'm sure that'll be a part of it as well."
While former NFL agent and CBS Sports contributor Joel Corry thinks we should Seahawks safety Earl Thomas) in the future, it's not likely that every team will be as eager to pay those players as the Falcons appear to be. Jones is headed into his age-29 season and still appears to be at or near the top of his game. He's struggled a bit with injuries over the last couple years, but he's also shown the ability to play through them and still be effective.like Jones' (and that of
If Jones were to wait until his current deal expires to get paid again, he would likely be looking at a significantly diminished contract value. He'd be going on 32 years old at that point, and 32-year old receivers generally do not get paid huge money over multiple years on the open market -- even if they're still extremely effective at that age, like a Larry Fitzgerald.
Jones has the size, athleticism, and versatility to remain a strong option all over the field over at least a few more seasons, and it'll be interesting to see how confident the Falcons are that he'll be able to maintain top-level play into his mid-30s. What this contract looks like will tell us a lot about how they view the tail end of Jones' career going.