The Atlanta Falcons didn’t want to take any chances with their franchise receiver in free agency so they made him the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL. Julio Jones signed a five year extension, worth slightly more than $71 million dollars. He was scheduled to be a free agent after the season but apparently the love between both sides is strong in the ATL.


“I didn’t have any doubt in my mind that we were going to get it done,” Jones said. “Whether it was this year or next year, we were going to get a deal done. I want to be a Falcon for the rest of my career, and Mr. Blank let it be known that he wanted me here as well.”

The deal includes $47.5 million in guaranteed money, which is really the only number that matters in NFL contracts. That amount puts him ahead of Dez Bryant, Calvin Johnson and DeMaryius Thomas respectively as the top dog of guaranteed money.

Jones, considered one of the most dynamic deep threats in the league, set a franchise record with 1,593 receiving yards on a career-high 104 receptions in 2014 despite missing one game with an oblique injury. Jones also topped the league with 31 catches of 20-plus yards.

Talks between the Falcons and Jones’ camp stalled last week but were “jump-started” Saturday morning, sources said.

“Julio is the type of young man we value, and this contract reflects that,” owner Arthur Blank said.

Blank made clear the team’s intent to re-sign Jones when he addressed the media during training camp.

“We expect Julio to be a lifer for the Falcons,” he said.