Falcons owner still hoping for new Julio Jones deal

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The Atlanta Falcons open the 2019 season in 12 days versus the Minnesota Vikings. Owner Arthur Blank still hopes to get a deal done with Julio Jones before kickoff.

"I would hope so, but I don't know that," Blank told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday. "We'll have to let things take their course. I know that we are definitely in serious negotiations. It's our goal and their goal as well to get it done before the start of the season."

The Falcons have been vocal about getting a new deal for Jones done, one that would likely make him the top-paid receiver in football and keep him in Atlanta for the balance of his career.

Last offseason, the team brass shifted around money to give Jones a raise with the promise of re-working his contract this offseason, to coax Jones to forgo his holdout. This year, Jones is in camp, continuing to progress from his reportedly mild foot issue, but has yet to put ink to paper.

"I've said this publicly and privately to Julio and Julio has said the same thing to me, both privately and publicly," Blank said. "We expect Julio to be a Falcon for life and we have no reason to think that's going to change at all.

"The negotiations continue to move along in a positive way. It's a big contract and it's complex and what have you. It takes a little more time than we'd like. Probably a little more time than he would like, but I know we are in a good place."

Deadlines spur action. If the start of the regular season is a true deadline and not a hope-branded line easily walked over, we should be hearing about a new contract for the superstar receiver soon. If it's not a hard deadline for either side, it will be interesting to see how Jones responds when the season begins.

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