Jones Handled Himself Like a Pro:Wide receivers have a reputation for being difficult personalities, but Jones, who never so much as considered holding out for a new contract, goes against the grain. That quality went a long way towards finalizing a new deal and keeping everyone confident negotiations wouldn't fall apart.
"I didn't have any doubt in my mind that we were going to get it done," Jones said following Saturday's game in Miami. "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. (Arthur) Blank let it be known that he wanted me here as well."
Deal Had to Get Done: The Falcons had no choice but to keep Jones, who is not only a tremendous athlete, but also required five draft picks to acquire. When the front office executed that monster deal in 2011, it knew the Alabama product would have to be a long-term fixture to make it worthwhile. As Dave Choate of The Falcoholic mentioned in February, NFL teams don't need great WRs to win, but they do need great players. Jones unquestionably fits the bill.
Falcons prized wide receiver Julio Jones had seven games with more than 100 yards, making his fourth year a career-defining one. Check out his best photos from 2014.
Ryan's Best Target Here to Stay:** The Falcons have invested a lot in Matt Ryan—he signed a five-year, $103.5 million contract in 2013—and providing him with quality targets is imperative to building a winning product. Thanks to Jones' new extension, he and Ryan will be able to spend their primes together in Atlanta.
"Obviously, I'm probably the happiest person in the organization to have him back," Ryan said. "He is a premier player, one of the best in the league and an even better teammate. He is the best and I'm just excited that he is going to be here for a long time."
Making What He's Worth: While this contract is pricey, it's an extremely fair amount compared to market value: Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant each received $70 million this summer, and since they're in the same tier as Jones talent-wise, Falcons brass knew a similar figure would be needed to lock up its two-time Pro Bowler.
Cementing a Legacy: Just four years into his career, the superstar wideout has already broken a number of franchise records—including the single-season mark for receiving yards (1,593). As long as he stays on the field, Jones, 26, should continue to make history and solidify himself as the best WR to ever don a Falcons uniform.
"We could not be more thrilled to make Julio a Falcon for life," said Blank. "Julio has established himself as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL during his career and has already set the franchise record for receiving yards in a season. I am extremely proud of what he has accomplished and he has just begun to scratch the surface in terms of his potential."