The Atlanta Falcons and wide receiver Julio Jones are closing in on an extension that would pay him $20 million per season on a four- or five-year deal, Bleacher Report reported Friday.
According to the report, Jones is expected to get around $50 million-$60 million in new guarantees, though the deal is not done yet.
The league’s highest-paid wideout, recent Cleveland Browns addition Odell Beckham Jr., averages $18 million annually with an additional $1 million per season available via incentives. He got $41 million fully guaranteed at signing and $65 million in injury guarantees.
Jones, 30, has two years and $21 million remaining on his contract. He stayed away from the Falcons throughout the 2018 offseason while seeking further contract guarantees. The team responded by turning $4.4 million of his future salary into a signing bonus while reportedly promising to redo the deal after the 2018 season, a rare concession for a player with multiple years remaining on his deal.
—The attorney of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is firing back against law-enforcement officials in South Florida.
William Burck, who represents Kraft, issued a statement to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Kraft is facing misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Fla., but he has pleaded not guilty.
“There was no human trafficking and law enforcement knows it,” Burck told Schefter, who posted the quote on his Twitter account. “The video and the traffic stop were illegal and law enforcement just doesn’t want to admit it. The state attorney needs to step up and do the right thing and investigate how the evidence in this case was obtained.”
—The Houston Texans signed offensive tackle Matt Kalil to a one-year contract, multiple media outlets reported.
Kalil, 29, was released by the Carolina Panthers last week in a salary-cutting move after he missed all of 2018 with a knee injury. He also missed 14 games to injury in 2016, but in his other five NFL seasons, Kalil started all 80 possible games at left tackle.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times last season, easily most in the NFL and equaling the fifth-highest total in NFL history. The Texans re-signed right tackle Seantrel Henderson — who missed all but one game in 2018 — earlier this offseason.
—The Pittsburgh Steelers will release safety Morgan Burnett by April 1, his agent, Kevin Conner, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Burnett asked the team in January to release him before free agency.
Burnett indicated he wants to join a team that will use him in a pure safety role, after playing what he believes was out of position at dime linebacker in Pittsburgh, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported in January.
—The Oakland Raiders signed free agent quarterback Mike Glennon and safety Curtis Riley.
The Raiders released AJ McCarron last week, creating a need for a backup quarterback behind Derek Carr. Glennon, 29, was released by the Arizona Cardinals earlier this month after joining the team on a two-year, $8 million deal last spring.
Riley, 26, started all 16 games for the New York Giants in 2018, nabbing four interceptions and totaling 75 tackles.
—The Los Angeles Rams matched an offer by the Detroit Lions to keep running back Malcolm Brown in the fold. The two-year deal gives Brown a $100,000 signing bonus and is worth $3.3 million total, with $1 million guaranteed.
Brown, 25, has rushed for 514 yards in four seasons in a backup role to Todd Gurley, including 43 carries for 212 yards and five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in 2018.
—Former Broncos first-round pick Shane Ray visited the Indianapolis Colts, according to multiple reports.
Ray, who had eight sacks in 2016 but has battled injuries the last two years, would move from linebacker to defensive end if he joins the Colts. Indianapolis reportedly added pass rusher Justin Houston on Thursday.
—The Buffalo Bills signed former Seahawks safety Maurice Alexander and former Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Jake Fisher, who is making the transition to be a blocking tight end.
Buffalo also reportedly visited with former Titans guard Quinton Spain and former Seahawks defensive back Neiko Thorpe.
—The Lions agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal with free agent cornerback Rashaan Melvin, multiple media outlets reported. Detroit also officially re-signed offensive lineman Andrew Donnal.
—Wide receiver Cody Latimer officially re-signed with the New York Giants.
—The Cleveland Browns signed free agent offensive lineman Bryan Witzmann.
—The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed fullback Anthony Sherman, per multiple reports.
—The Bengals signed former Giants defensive end Kerry Wynn, ESPN reported.
—The Texans re-signed special teamer Joe Webb III, who also serves as a backup wide receiver and quarterback.
—Field Level Media