Falcons Rumors

Latest On Julio Jones' Extension

  • Julio Jones‘ three-year, $66MM Falcons extension came with $64MM in guarantees, which outpaces every other wide receiver’s deal by a staggering margin. Jones’ pact also could bump up to $72MM, with Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweeting the 30-year-old wideout’s deal has annual escalators. It’s not yet known what benchmarks Jones would have to hit to trigger those, however.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/9/19

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Falcons To Place Chris Lindstrom On IR

Chris Lindstrom‘s rookie season is not definitively over, but the Falcons guard will not be back until at least November. The team is expected to place the first-round pick on IR, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (on Twitter).

The Boston College product broke a small bone in his foot on Sunday, and Pelissero adds this injury can be categorized as similar to the one Deion Jones suffered in September of 2018. Jones went to IR and returned for five games.

Atlanta has dealt with issues involving both of its first-round lineman choices. Kaleb McGary missed much of training camp because of a heart condition but has since returned.

The Falcons have some veteran insurance behind Lindstrom, adding both James Carpenter and Jamon Brown this offseason. Carpenter operated as Atlanta’s Week 1 left guard starter; Brown was inactive in Week 1. The Falcons also have third-year man Wes Schweitzer as well. A 2017 sixth-round pick, Schweitzer started 28 games for the past two Falcons editions.

Although Schweitzer replaced Lindstrom on Sunday, Dan Quinn confirmed the Falcons’ Week 2 guard configuration will be Carpenter-Brown. The latter was a regular Rams starter before being waived in 2018; Brown spent the final eight games of 2018 as a Giants starter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lindstrom Has Fractured Foot

  • The Falcons got blown out by the Vikings, and they also lost a key piece. The team fears that rookie first-round pick Chris Lindstrom fractured his foot, according to Jay Glazer of The Athletic (Twitter link). Lindstrom won the competition to start at right guard, and the organization thinks very highly of the 14th overall pick. Lindstrom’s rookie year could be over, as former NFL team doctor David Chao tweets the type of fracture “will determine if part of the season can be salvaged.” Even if he does make it back, it won’t be for a while.

Falcons, Julio Jones Agree To Three-Year Extension

At long last, it sounds like the Falcons and wideout Julio Jones have agreed to a contract extension. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) have agreed to a three-year, $66MM extension. The unprecedented deal is fully-guaranteed and includes $64MM due at signing.

Earlier today, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reported (via Twitter) that the two sides were finalizing a deal that would make Jones the highest-paid receiver in the league. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that the deal was expected to be a three-year pact worth around $66MM.

Jones is now setting a new benchmark at the position. Saints Pro Bowler Michael Thomas leads wideouts with an average annual value of $19.25MM, following by Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. at $18MM. Jones had been pushing for an extension for several seasons, with his previous AAV ($14.25MM) ranking only 12th among wideouts.

Since Jones is heading into his age-30 season, his extension is a bit more complicated than the deals signed by Thomas and Beckham. Still, the nine-year pro was apparently able to set a new standard at the position, even if it’s only for a handful of years. The $64MM that’s due at signing is also a record-setter; 97-percent of Jones’ contract is guaranteed at signing, while the previous high for a non-QB (according to Schefter) belonged to Trey Flowers, who got 74-percent guaranteed at signing.

The two sides had been discussing an extension for months, with recent reports indicating that a deal was close. Jones didn’t hold out from minicamp nor training camp, while owner Arthur Blank consistently expressed optimism that they’d sign the receiver to a long-term deal. The front office has also been working on clearing up cap space, with many assuming the money would end up going to Jones.

The former first-rounder has certainly established himself as one of the best players at his position. Jones’ 7,994 receiving yards since the 2014 season are the most any player has ever compiled in a five-year span, and he finished last season with 113 receptions for a league-leading 1,677 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Cap Space By Team For 2019

With hours to go before the start of the 2019 NFL season, here’s a rundown of how much cap room each NFL team has (via ESPN.com’s Field Yates, on Twitter):

  1. Indianapolis Colts – $42.1MM
  2. Cleveland Browns – $32.7MM
  3. Miami Dolphins – $31.9MM
  4. Houston Texans – $29.5MM
  5. Buffalo Bills – $24.8MM
  6. Tennessee Titans – $24.1MM
  7. Dallas Cowboys – $22.3MM
  8. Detroit Lions – $19.2MM
  9. San Francisco 49ers – $18.7MM
  10. Chicago Bears – $17.3MM
  11. Carolina Panthers – $16.6MM
  12. Washington Redskins – $15.9MM
  13. Philadelphia Eagles – $14.8MM
  14. Cincinnati Bengals – $13.3MM
  15. Kansas City Chiefs – $12.4MM
  16. Oakland Raiders – $12MM
  17. Denver Broncos – $11.2MM
  18. Green Bay Packers – $10.8MM
  19. Los Angeles Chargers – $10.2MM
  20. Jacksonville Jaguars – $9.5MM
  21. New York Jets – $9.3MM
  22. Seattle Seahawks – $8.6MM
  23. Baltimore Ravens – $8.2MM
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers – $6.3MM
  25. New England Patriots – $4.9MM
  26. Arizona Cardinals – $2.7MM
  27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $1.2MM
  28. Minnesota Vikings – $1.2MM
  29. Los Angeles Rams – $852K
  30. New Orleans Saints – $604K
  31. Atlanta Falcons – $493K
  32. New York Giants – $457K

Latest On Falcons, Julio Jones

The Falcons and Julio Jones appear to be on the verge of their long-discussed extension agreement, but no deal is done. This is not a situation where the team is waiting to announce it, either, with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noting the sides have not finalized a contract.

Arthur Blank confirmed this new agreement will make Jones the league’s highest-paid receiver and considers the possibility of a deal not being finalized by Week 1 (and Jones perhaps missing that game) “remote.” It’s just not known by how much. Michael Thomas signed for $19.25MM per year earlier this summer.

I’m optimistic that we’ll get something done, so I’m not going to focus on something that I consider a remote possibility,’’ Blank said of Jones missing the game, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “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.”

The two-time first-team All-Pro wideout did not hold out from Falcons minicamp or training camp, so it would obviously mark a course change if Jones missed Sunday’s game against the Vikings. A new contract would eliminate any mystery here, and it sounds like there’s a better chance of Jones signing one before then than not.

Jones going into his age-30 season, his ninth in the NFL, makes this deal more complicated than the ones given to younger stars like Thomas or Odell Beckham Jr. the past two summers. But the team has been clear about wanting Julio Jones to follow Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones in Blank’s “Falcons for life” vision. The Falcons freed up $5MM in cap space earlier Wednesday, further setting the table for Jones’ next deal — expected to eclipse the $20MM-AAV barrier.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Create Room For Julio Jones Deal

The Falcons are “very, very close” to an extension for Julio Jones, owner Arthur Blank tells Jeff Schultz of TheAthletic.com (on Twitter). Of course, this is roughly what we’ve been hearing all summer, but it’s worth noting since we are days away from the start of the season and it is coming directly from the owner’s mouth. 

Furthermore, the Falcons have created some additional breathing room that may give them the cap space necessary to re-up their star wide receiver. The team completed simple contract restructurings with left tackle Jake Matthews and safety Ricardo Allen, according to Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (on Twitter) to carve out another $5MM.

We’ve been here many times before, but this time, it feels real. In all likelihood, Jones will have a brand new deal by the end of the week that will put him at or near the top of the WR heap in the NFL.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/3/19

Here are Tuesday’s practice squad decisions:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: C Brad Lundblade

Cincinnati Bengals

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/2/19

We’ll keep track of Monday’s practice squad moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: WR Davion Davis

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers 

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins