FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The day before veteran players reported for training camp back in July, Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said that he “would re-address everything in 2019” in regard to a contract extension for receiver Julio Jones.
On Thursday during the Falcons’ season-ending press conference, Dimitroff repeated as much and added, “we'll take care of that business, and that will be done.”
Dimitroff, however, said he didn’t know exactly when a deal with Jones would be finalized and said, “we're not concerned about that.” The Falcons general manager is also preparing the draft – the Falcons currently hold the 14th overall pick – and he also has to make decisions on 21 Falcons players who are set to become free agents in March.
Jones caught 113 passes for a league-best 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018. His 138 receiving yards against the Buccaneers in the season-finale marked the 10th time Jones has surpassed the 100-yard mark, breaking his previous franchise record of nine games with 100-plus yards in 2015.
In 2017, Jones led the Falcons with 88 catches for 1,444 yards and three touchdowns. He became the first player in NFL history with three games of over 250 receiving yards, when he caught 12 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-20 win over the Buccaneers in Week 12 that year.
In eight seasons in the league, Jones now has 698 receptions for 10,731 yards and 51 touchdowns.
“He and I and the organization are in a really good place right now,” Dimitroff said. “We thought he had a standout season. He continues to lead both on and off. His leadership is exemplary, as far as how he approached things this year. Just really excited about how he took it all on.”