Atlanta Falcons exercise contract option on WR Julio Jones


Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) gains extra yards after a catch in the first half against the New York Jets at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Life without Julio Jones on the outside isn’t a pleasant thought for any fan of the Atlanta Falcons, but for at least the next two seasons, we won’t have to worry about that possibility.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Falcons announced that they have picked up the fifth year option on Jones’ contract, effectively signing him through the 2015 season. To be honest, there was little to no doubt that this would happen (or an extension would be signed) before the deadline arrived, but it is always encouraging to see one of the young studs under contract for more than just the upcoming season.

The 25-year-old wide receiver appeared in just 5 games before going down with a season-ending injury in 2013, but Jones was on pace for more than 130 receptions (a bit high, admittedly) 1,800 yards receiving over a full season of work. When healthy, Julio Jones is one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL, and with Roddy White likely beginning to trend downward in the latter stages of his career, he will be crucial in extending Matt Ryan’s prime years.