PHOENIX – Not much has changed with the Atlanta Falcons' stance regarding new deals for Grady Jarrett and Julio Jones. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has said repeatedly that getting the two Falcons stars new deals remains a top priority.
Like all negotiations, there is give-and-take involved and, as Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Tuesday at the annual league meetings, sometimes "it takes longer than everybody wants."
The Falcons applied the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jarrett on March 4, giving the team and Jarrett's representation until July 15 to work out a long-term contract. If they are unable to come to an agreement by then, Jarrett will play under a one-year deal worth a reported $15,209,000.
Dan Quinn also provided an update on the matter from the NFL head coaches breakfast here.
"We're hopeful; we certainly want to do a long-term deal with him and [keep] him a Falcon," Quinn said of Jarrett. "I hope he never graduates. He's a really impactful guy on our team. His leadership and [how] he's emerging in that way is a real factor for us."
In four seasons with the Falcons, Jarrett has recorded 179 tackles, 31 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks and three forced fumbles.
While negotiations with Jarrett will remain a priority moving forward, placing the tag on the defensive tackle gives the Falcons some time to continue as they focus on new deals for other key players, including Jones.
"That goes a long with the territory of utilizing the franchise tag," Quinn said. "So, I'm not going to say it's hitting pause, but life does go on. The negotiations and discussions with other players moves forward. We know [that] no matter what [we will have] Grady back [this season] and that's a good thing. We're hopeful we can do it long-term [and] that will help on both sides."
As for Jones, the Falcons and their star wideout agreed to revise his current contract this offseason prior to the start of the 2018 training camp.
Jones put together one of his best professional campaigns in 2018 leading the league in receiving yards with 1,677 yards. He caught 113 passes and scored eight touchdowns.
Blank also provided his thoughts on where the franchise stands on the future of these two players as Falcons.
"I would give you the same answer for Grady as well as Julio," Blank said. "These are two incredible athletes and great players. Grady's tagging gives [us] the ability to work on that over a longer period of time and I think there will be progress being made on that. With Julio, we're in conversations now not only with him but his agents. I think there will be progress there. It's always a matter of time, it's give and take, and it takes longer than everybody wants. But we're making good progress I think on both."