Though Arthur Clean didn’t need to focus on particular contract figures evaluating one participant to a different, the Atlanta Falcons proprietor made clear his intentions concerning a elevate for star vast receiver Julio Jones.
Jones, who has two years and greater than $21 million left on the five-year, $71.25 million contract extension he acquired in August 2015, is ready to money in once more previous to the 2019 season. His present common of $14.25 million per yr pales compared to different prime receivers, reminiscent of Cleveland’s Odell Beckham Jr. at $18 million per yr. Antonio Brown, traded from Pittsburgh to Oakland, had his contract adjusted in a three-year deal, though it is unclear if Brown surpassed Beckham’s common per yr whereas securing $30.125 million assured. Some view Brown at $19.eight million per yr whereas others see it as a $16.71 million common.
“I believe that is a matter of who’s doing the mathematics and the way it’s calculated,” Clean advised ESPN concerning the rising worth of receivers, particular to the Brown adjustment. “Contracts may be interpreted, financially, in many various methods. I am going to let Antonio Brown care for himself, and we’ll care for Julio and guarantee that he is handled with the respect that he must be and that he is earned.”
Falcons proprietor Arthur Clean will not commit to creating Julio Jones the highest-paid receiver, however he feels assured that a new profitable extension may be labored out. Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire
Clean would not commit proper now to creating Jones the highest-paid receiver, however he feels assured that profitable extensions may be labored out for each Jones and nostril deal with Grady Jarrett, who had the $15.209 million franchise tag positioned on him. Whereas Clean mentioned there may be “no timetable” on placing a cope with Jones, the Falcons have till July 15 to achieve an extension or multi-year contract with Jarrett, or else he’ll play underneath the one-year franchise tag.
“I believe the method will care for itself,” Clean mentioned, referring to each Jones and Jarrett. “It isn’t going to care for itself with out each side engaged on it in a severe, severe means. And I believe we’ve two gamers that we rely on and plan on having as Falcons for all times. We clearly perceive their worth, each by way of their enjoying capacity and their management in addition to, you may say past that, their engagement in neighborhood actions and social justice and issues of that nature.”
Normal supervisor Thomas Dimitroff has had constructive discussions with Jones’ agent, Jimmy Sexton. Dimitroff’s interplay with Jarrett’s agent, Todd France, didn’t result in something near a decision earlier than the March four implementation of the franchise tag.
“Thomas [Dimitroff] and Coach [Dan Quinn] are each working with their brokers,” Clean mentioned. “Progress is being made. However these are massive contracts. They’re sophisticated. They’re sophisticated not solely as a result of they’re, in themselves, sophisticated, however then Thomas has to weave his material of tips on how to care for up-and-coming younger gamers that we’ve to cope with over the following two or three years.
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“It isn’t nearly this yr. It is about securing our roster sooner or later as nicely.”
To Clean’s level, the Falcons need to maneuver across the $30 million per yr for Matt Ryan, the pending offers for Jones and Jarrett, and nonetheless have sufficient to re-sign a robust nucleus of younger gamers.
The crew already began negotiations with one-time Professional Bowl center linebacker Deion Jones, who’s coming into the final yr of his rookie deal. Free security Keanu Neal and tight finish Austin Hooper, additionally one-time Professional Bowlers and a part of the identical draft class as Deion Jones, are certain to money in as nicely, though the Falcons plan to train Neal’s fifth-year possibility as he returns from ACL surgical procedure.
“Deion is a superb participant, a terrific chief, and he performs with the type of enthusiasm and the type of ardour that the coach needs to see and the followers need to see,” Clean mentioned. “However we’ve a lot of gamers who’re in that class.
“That is the puzzle that Thomas and Coach need to work on yearly. We’ve got finished the fitting factor for our present roster, our present gamers, the fitting factor to maintain our stars like Julio and Grady into the longer term, but additionally be aware of the opposite younger gamers developing — together with somebody like Deion — which might be necessary to our franchise for years to come back. Due to the wage cap, you do not get an opportunity to spend an infinite amount of cash. We’ll spend as a lot as we will and proper as much as it. We need to put money into the perfect expertise we’ve.”
Julio Jones could be on the prime of that checklist. The Falcons appeased Jones final season by adjusting his contract with none new cash added, which allowed him to make $13.four million as an alternative of $10.5 million. The following adjustment might result in a $20 million per yr common.
“For us, he is a mannequin participant, a mannequin chief, and somebody we need to have related to our franchise for so long as he can play soccer,” Clean mentioned.
“We do not have a timetable [for a new deal]. I believe the timetable shall be what it’s. I believe it is about making the type of progress we would wish to see. I believe that they’ve begun that course of. It is a dance that you must undergo. And you’re employed carefully with the gamers and the brokers. I do know we’ll come out in a very good place, however it should take a while.”