White: Falcons should 'get a deal done with Julio now'


After a week that saw Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas land matching five-year, $70 million deals, Atlanta's Roddy White says it's time for the Falcons to ante up and pay their own star receiver in Julio Jones.

"If I was the GM, I would get a deal done with Julio now," White told ESPN's Josina Anderson on Friday. "I want to make sure he's paid. That's my guy."

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The Falcons have yet to enter negotiations with Jones. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on Tuesday reported the sides were in "wait-and-see mode," but that was before Bryant and Thomas inked their deals. With the market now set, ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure wrote Wednesday that the "general sense" around Falcons headquarters is that a deal could be struck by the start of training camp.

"The more they wait, the more it's going to cost them," White said. "It's important that (Julio) feels comfortable."

White has a point: Working out a deal sooner than later would save the Falcons a hill of cash. Scheduled to make $10.176 million this year, Jones is a top-five receiving talent and worth every penny handed to Bryant and Thomas. Nobody is about to match Calvin Johnson's annual $16 million price tag, but the asking price for a premier pass-catcher will only balloon by next offseason.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is on record saying that Jones' injury history won't sidetrack a long-term deal, calling the receiver "a very important part of our building and evolving as a championship-type team."

One way or another, Jones will be massively wealthy soon enough. As we were reminded again this week: We can spill a thousand gallons of ink on holdouts, negotiations and contract structuring, but the end result is always the same -- great players get paid. 

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses recent news from around the league, including the new contracts for Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas.