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Is the Julio Jones contract extension finally coming this Saturday?

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There may be a reason everyone is so confident about the new deal getting done soon.

Philadelphia Eagles v Atlanta Braves Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Thomas Dimitroff got to work last week, signing the team’s top, young defenders to up to $125 million in new deals. Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones are most certainly happy to get paid but the new Julio Jones deal remains the team’s most outstanding issue.

This has been a long saga for Jones who tried to angle for a new deal last year. He received a decent pay bump and a promise the full extension is coming in 2019. It’s still not here yet, so why is everyone from Jones himself all the way to team owner Arthur Blank so optimistic?

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, a typically accurate source for Falcons news, tipped an interesting theory from a league source. Per the league source, Jones may already have a deal done.

The question is whether he already has a new contract, one that can’t be finalized until at least the one-year anniversary of the revised deal from last July 26, a contract that moved money from 2019 to 2018 and converted some of his 2018 salary into a signing bonus.

ESPN’s Vaughn McClure also covered the same thing that may also be from a league source.

From what I understand, there’s a chance that Falcons WR Julio Jones’ new contract can’t be signed until a year after his last contract readjustment, which was made public last July 27th.

It is odd to see two separate news sources suggest the same peculiar news on the same day. Both PFT and McClure cite an obscure NFL rule, with PFT saying, “Some inside the league think Jones and the Falcons already have a wink-nod deal in place, one that will be officially signed and sealed after July 26 comes and goes.”

The rule limits any contract extension to the same or lower cap hit if there was an extension in the prior 12 months. If the Falcons agreed to a deal over that amount, they would need to wait until Saturday until the contract is officially signed and announced.

So if we want one theory why everyone is so optimistic and Jones has been a full participant early in training camp, it could be because he is only a few days away from direct deposit hitting his account.