Wrote about my projections for what Julio's contract will be in my column from Monday. I'll post the relevant parts, but as you can glean, if I was guessing at what sort of deal Julio will sign, it'll be a six-years worth between $93 and $98 million, and probably include initial guarantees around $40 million, but probably will be pushed to around $50 million when all is said and done.
http://falcfans.com/takeaways-from-last ... 2015-19437
Julio’s Contract Extension Likely to Mirror Megatron’s
Right now, Mathis is unlikely to be a priority for the Falcons. Instead, their focus appears to be on getting Julio Jones a contract extension. But that extension is another reason why the Falcons probably won’t be looking to pay Mathis the sort of premium money he may think he deserves.
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Julio Jones’ looming contract might cause Falcons to balk on Mathis
Jones, along with receivers Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas and A.J. Green are all on the verge of getting paid a lot of money. While Bryant makes a stink about his contract in Dallas, the others are looking to see who sets the market. The smart money suggests the Falcons might be the first to pull the trigger if Thomas doesn’t get signed before July 15.
It will be interesting to see how much the extension for Jones costs the Falcons. In 2012, Calvin Johnson signed a seven-year extension worth $113.5 million with $48.75 million of it fully guaranteed, representing the crème de la crème of wide receiver contracts.
The summer before, Larry Fitzgerald signed an extension with the Arizona Cardinals that was worth $113 million over seven years. Those two deals are the biggest ever signed by wideouts, and gives us a rough upper end to where Jones’ contract could be. An annual average of $16.25 million would make Jones or any of the aforementioned receivers the highest-paid receiver ever.
However, Johnson’s contract is somewhat misleading because the last two years of his seven-year deal are voidable. Excluding those years, his contract averages about $15.65 million per year. That potentially sets the lower-end parameter for Jones’ deal which should be somewhere in the ballpark of $15.5 million per year.
What is also notable about Johnson’s contract is that his three-year payout is $51.75 million, which is a significant increase over that which the Cardinals gave to Fitzgerald ($45.5 million). The Falcons showed two years ago when they gave a huge extension to quarterback Matt Ryan, that they were willing to give out the highest three-year payment among quarterbacks as Ryan’s $63 million over the first three years of his deal eclipsed that of Aaron Rodgers ($62.5 million) and Joe Flacco ($62 million).
There may be a similar give and a take with Jones’ negotiation. The Falcons might pay Jones less than $16 million on annual basis, but perhaps make his three-year payout the most ever for a receiver, reaching $52 million or higher.
It’ll be interesting to see how much guaranteed money Jones gets. The Falcons gave Ryan an initial guarantee of $42 million as part of his extension, which increased to $59 million after one year once injury guarantees kicked in.
I’d be surprised if the Falcons gave Jones more than $42 million in initial guarantees just for the sake of presenting that Ryan is still the highest-paid player on the roster. But there may be some back-end guarantees that kick in a year or so from now similar to Ryan’s deal. Johnson had a similar clause in his contract, where a second-year option bonus restructured how his injury guarantees were paid out.
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