Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is a beast among men. He doesn't need an introduction, because his track record speaks for itself. Jones is entering the final year of his contract; he's owed just north of $10 million in 2015. Aside from some injury history, he's been an absolute dream well worth the myriad draft picks the Falcons gave up to land him.
All that said, Jones won't work for free. He deserves to get paid, and best case scenario, the Falcons are cutting his check for the foreseeable future. Former Sports Agent Joel Corry penned an interesting read earlier this week - check if out, if you have a moment. In short, the market for wide receivers is tricky. Thanks to Jeremy Maclin, Randall Cobb, and in particular, Mike Wallace, Jones won't come cheap. Coming to terms won't be easy. And if the parties reach an impasse, the franchise tag is always an option.
"He's virtually a lock to receive a franchise tag in 2016 if he doesn't get a new deal. The wide receiver franchise tag number will be approximately $14 million in 2016 [... and a] second franchise tag in 2017 should be around $16.8 million, a 20 percent increase over Jones' 2016 franchise number"
Corry thinks Jones could try to parlay the franchise tag reality into a deal averaging $15 million/year with a significant amount of guaranteed money. To be frank, that's fine by me, but I'm not in charge of the Falcons' checkbook.
The Falcons can't afford to lose Jones. They know that, and one way or another, they're going to keep him in red and black. I think we all know this is going to happen. But is there a limit? Is there a point where the Falcons prefer Corry's year-to-year approach (i.e., hitting him with the franchise tag in consecutive years)? Discuss!