With the regular season 12 days away, Julio Jones has yet to receive the new contract he’s been waiting for.
But there’s reason to believe a negotiation could still be reached by next week.
“I would hope so, but I don’t know that,” Falcons owner Arthur 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.”
Jones, who is set to earn $9.6 million in 2019, has two years left on the five-year contract worth $71 million he signed in 2015, though the expectation has been he will have a new deal in place before the regular season starts Sept. 8.
His agent, Jimmy Sexton, traveled to Atlanta last week to try to “lock down a deal,” but the process remains ongoing.
“I’ve said this publicly and privately to Julio and Julio has said the same thing to me, both privately and publicly,” Blank added. “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.”
Jones, 30, had 113 catches for a league-leading 1,677 receiving yards to go with eight touchdowns last season.
He’ll continue to sit out the preseason as the Falcons wrap up exhibition play Thursday against the Jaguars but will be ready for action when the team visits the Vikings in Week 1.