Blank is optimistic the team can reach an agreement with Jones by this week.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
September 03, 2019

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is confident the team will agree to terms on a new deal with wide receiver Julio Jones this week.

Amid speculation that Jones might consider sitting out the season opener against the Vikings on Sunday, Blank reportedly told The Athletic's Jeff Schultz that Jones and the Falcons are "very, very close" to to an agreement.

"I'd be surprised and disappointed if we didn't get it done this week," Blank said, per Schultz. "I think it's very reasonable to assume it will get done this week."

Blank previously told reporters that the goal on both sides was to have the deal done before the start of the seasonFalcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff also 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.

Jones, 30, still has two years and $21 million left on his contract. When asked if the issue between the two sides concerned guaranteed money, Blank told ESPN that "there's no obstacle, per se."

"When you're talking about a contract for that much money over that period of time for a premier, outstanding player, it's just very complicated. It's not cut and dry," Blank said. "We just need to be thoughtful about it from our standpoint, as he does from his standpoint. He's at a critical time in his career, and we respect that. We're just going through a pretty normal process to get to where we need to be."

Jones has played eight seasons with Atlanta since the team drafted him with the No. 6 pick in 2011. He's 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 in 2015 when he posted a league-high 136 catches to go with 1,871 yards.

The Falcons kick off the 2019 season in Minnesota on Sunday, Sept. 8.

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