Falcons GM 'confident' Julio extension will get done


Julio Jones reported for training camp and isn't fretting getting a new deal. Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff likewise doesn't seem stressed about the issue either.

"We have the utmost faith that Julio is coming here and he's taking care of his business while he's here, and we'll keep plugging away with [Jones' agent] Jimmy [Sexton],'' Dimitroff told ESPN's Vaughn McClure on Tuesday. "We have a very good working relationship and respect for Jimmy Sexton and CAA, and I'm confident [the deal] will get done."

Jones is working with the rehab group during training camp, as he comes back from a foot issue.

Both the Falcons and Jones have been confident that a deal would get done at some point. Based on Dimitroff's conversation with McClure, it didn't sound like Jones was holding off consummating a new deal waiting for other wideouts -- Michael Thomas, Amari Cooper, A.J. Green, etc. -- to reset the market, so his eventual "highest-paid receiver in the NFL" designation lasts longer than a fortnight.

There is also the fact that Jones can't sign any deal until at least the anniversary of reworking his contract last year (July 27). As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted earlier this week, players are allowed to agree to new deals within a year of previous alterations, but the limitation is that a new deal can't increase the cap number over the years left on the deal. A team and player must wait more than a year to do that. Cap conversions can happen, because that doesn't impact the overall cap number, but when you do an extension, that's when the cap becomes an issue. In summation: sides could theoretically agree to a new deal, but couldn't sign it until July 27. We saw this issue pop up with Rob Gronkowski's deals in the past.

A year after Jones skipped the start of training camp wanting a pay bump, the GM praised the receiver's leadership and how he's handled his contract situation.

"Julio's been nothing but great with us over the years,'' Dimitroff said. "Even last year, when it got a little bit dusty during that time, we were able to sit down and work through it. I thought we worked through it cleanly.

"We understand being the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. And the fact that Julio is approaching it the way he is is appreciated. That said, we expect nothing less from Julio Jones, one of our main leaders on this team.''