Julio Jones has two years remaining on his contract and the Falcons have already said they want to make him the NFL's highest-paid receiver.
The Falcons and All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones have been working on a contract extension this season and team owner Arthur Blank told D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the "goal" on both sides is to have the deal done before the start of the season.
Blank told Ledbetter he hopes to have the deal done before Atlanta opens its season on Sept. 8 against the Vikings, but he does not know for sure if that will be the case.
"We'll have to let things take their course," Blank told Ledbetter. "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."
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said earlier this month that he wants to make Jones the highest-paid wide receiver in football and put together a contract extension that tops the five-year, $100 million deal Michael Thomas and the Saints agreed to earlier in the offseason.
"The negotiations continue to move along in a positive way," Blank added. "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, who has played eight seasons with Atlanta since the team drafted him with the No. 6 pick in 2011, is coming off a year in which he led the league in receiving yards with 1,677. It was the second time he led the NFL in that category, with the first coming back in 2015 when he posted a league-high 136 catches to go with 1,871 yards.
Back in July Jones talked about the idea of shattering the single-season yards record by posting 3,000 this season.
Most would say that is probably too lofty of a goal for one year, but his hope to stay a Falcon for his entire career is something Blank said he wants to also make a reality.
"I've said this publicly and privately to Julio and Julio has said the same thing to me, both privately and publicly," Blank told Ledbetter. "We expect Julio to be a Falcon for life and we have no reason to think that’s going to change at all."
Jones is set to make $9.6 million this season and $11.4 million in 2020.