Five years, $95 million, $65 million guaranteed. When you think of an extension like that in Atlanta, you think Julio Jones. Well now that we know that extension went to Odell Beckham Jr instead of Julio, we can only assume that Julio, who did not report to the Falcons because he was angry about his contract, will only add fuel to the fire.
We have seen in Atlanta what Julio can do when he is just out there playing for the love of the game: 585 career receptions, 9,054 career yards, and 43 career touchdowns. Numbers that certainly should put him in the top three receivers for pay.
Currently, though, Julio ranks as the 8th best wide receiver in average salary. Now imagine what Julio will do as an angry wide receiver looking to prove to management, and the NFL, that he is the best in the game and it is time for him to get paid. My prediction for Julio in the 2018-19 NFL season is 85 receptions, 1,450 yards, and 6 touchdowns. One small problem though for Falcon’s fans: if this prediction does come true this will be a worst case scenario for the front office. Julio will demand to have his contract situation handled after the season, or he will, again, sit out, but I believe this time it will last into the regular season. If the Falcons’ front office gives in to Julio’s demands, they will be handcuffed by committing big money contracts to Julio, Devonta Freeman, and Matt Ryan. If they don’t give Julio an extension, they could be looking at losing a franchise player when his contract ends in 2020. Could the drafting of Calvin Ridley this year be a hint into the mind of the Falcons’ front office on where Julio stands with this franchise? I guess we will have to wait and see.