Michael Thomas became the highest-paid receiver in the league on Wednesday, but how long will the New Orleans Saints receiver hold the mantle? And will an NFC South foe take it from him?
That's the expectation from the Atlanta Falcons and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who are in the throes of contract extension negotiations with star receiver Julio Jones.
Dimitroff told NFL Network on Thursday night ahead of the Hall of Fame Game that their talks with Jones' team have been productive and they expect to reach a deal eventually that will see Jones supplant Thomas.
"We know what Julio is in this league. We have a very good idea of approximately where he's going to be, which I won't share specifically," Dimitroff said. "The good thing is we've never been held by our owner to be limiting someone and we're very good with our football players here. We feel very proud of how we approach it.
"And again, where we approach it with Julio, we look at everything, of course. We believe that he should be the highest-paid player — sorry, I did not say player — the highest-paid receiver in the league. And I know he believes that. It's just how we're going to approach this and how we're going to get it done. I believe it's right around the corner but I don't want know when it is."
Thomas broke the bank with a five-year, $100 million extension with $61 million in guarantees. The Saints receiver now leads all receivers in annual average value, while Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham paces wideouts with $65M guaranteed.