Falcons reportedly closing in on a deal to make Julio Jones the NFL's highest-paid receiver

For years now, Julio Jones has been one of the handful of best wide receivers in the NFL

He has played at least 14 games in six of his eight seasons, and he has made the Pro Bowl in each of those six seasons, including the last five in a row. He's been named a First Team All-Pro twice and a Second Teamer once. He has averaged a 105-1,599-6 line over the past five years, while leading the league in receiving yards twice, and yards per game three times.

Last offseason, the Falcons gave Jones a small raise to make his salary more commensurate with his production. Now, they're getting ready to make him a far richer man. Per a report from Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, the Falcons are preparing to make Jones the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. 

My understanding is the Falcons and Jones are closing in on a deal that would pay him $20 million a year over a four- or five-year contract extension. He would get anywhere from $50 million to $60 million in new guarantees, one source told me.

The deal isn't done. As with any negotiation, contract talks are always fluid, and things can change in an instant. The talks with Jones could take longer, or fall apart, or continue to proceed smoothly. But the indications are that the two sides seem to be nearing an agreement that will make both Jones and the Falcons happy.

That would give Jones a deal just a bit larger than the one Odell Beckham Jr. signed last offseason that made him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. Beckham signed a five-year, $90 million contract that contained just south of $41 million in fully guaranteed money. Jones would blow that deal out of the water under the framework reported by Freeman, receiving an additional $2 million in per-year value and an additional $9-19 million in guarantees. It's difficult to say Jones wouldn't deserve it, given his production to date. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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