SI.com’s Peter King was the first to report the five-year extension that the Atlanta Falcons and wide receiver Julio Jones agreed to, which was later confirmed by the team. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the deal is worth $71.25 million with $47 million in guaranteed money. The overall size of the deal puts Jones ahead of the recent extensions signed by wide receivers Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas, making the Falcons receiver second only to Calvin Johnson as the NFL’s highest paid wideout.
The Falcons first intimated after the draft in May that re-signing Jones to an extension was a top priority. But talks between the two parties did not really begin until the weeks prior to training camp in late July. Reports as recent as last week from Mortensen indicated that the negotiations had “significantly stalled.” According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Falcons had set today as the deadline to come to an agreement, otherwise likely resulting in talks being tabled until 2016. Jones was set to become a free agent next March.
Both Bryant and Thomas signed deals worth $70 million over five years, with guaranteed portions number $45 and $43 million, respectively. Johnson signed a seven-year extension worth $113 million in 2012 that included $53 million in guaranteed money according to Spotrac.