The Atlanta Falcons are prepared to pull out the checkbook and make a big offer to wide receiver Julio Jones.
And while general manager Thomas Dimitroff wouldn’t disclose the figure he has in mind, he sounded confident the two sides could make a deal.
“We know what Julio is in this league,” Dimitroff told NFL Media on Thursday night before the Hall of Fame Game. “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.
He can expect a significant increase. New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas and the Saints agreed to a reported five-year, $100 million contract earlier this week.
“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.
—Field Level Media