Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, 26, ranks as one of the top tier players at his position in the NFL. In the 2014 season, he re-wrote the teams record books when he raked in 1,593 receiving yards and a career-high 104 receptions. With one more year left on his original rookie contract, the Falcons most certainly took notice of his talents and rewarded him with a monumental 5 year deal for $71.25 Million, with $47.5 Million of it guaranteed.
Both parties had been negotiating a deal for quite some time but the talks stalled last week. During the weekend, the contract talks resumed and the deal was signed sealed and delivered.
I didn’t have any doubt in my mind that we were going to get it done,” Jones said. “Whether it was this year or next year, we were going to get a deal done. I want to be a Falcon for the rest of my career, and Mr. Blank let it be known that he wanted me here as well.
With new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in tow, and all-pro quarterback Matt Ryan behind center, the Falcons look to build on the success they’ve enjoyed in recent years with Jones presumably set to finish out his career in a Falcons uniform.
Remember when the Falcons gave Mike Vick a $100 Million contract? – Rocko Rathon (@Rocko_CNK)
After slapping the franchise tag on All-Pro defensive end Justin Houston, the Kansas City Chiefs had a small window to sign him, and they did. In a big way.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the Chiefs agreed to a six-year, $101 million deal with the 26-year old, with $52.5 million guaranteed. Jason La Canfora of CBS sports broke down the numbers of the deal.
Houston tweeted out his appreciation once the deal was signed, sealed and delivered.
Schefter noted the deal was the richest in Chiefs history, and the richest ever given to a linebacker. Houston’s contract is the second richest by a defensive player behind Miami Dolphins’ Ndamukong Suh.
Joel Corry of CBS Sports noted that despite the contract’s huge numbers, Kansas City would actually save $5 million toward the cap because of the structure of the deal.
Houston is coming off the best season of his career. He led the NFL in sacks with 22, and made the All-Pro team for the first time. It was the culmination of the last four sesaons, in which he emerged as one of the league’s elite pass-rushers.
King Jut (@KingJut92)
The Dallas Cowboys and star receiver Dez Bryant have come to terms on a new deal that will keep the 26-year-old in Dallas according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Bryant is coming off a career season where he lead the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 16. This deal is less then the reported 15 million that Bryant was looking for per year. This contract comes minutes before today’s deal line at 4 pm est. This contract will clearly affect the actions of Demaryius Thomas, who was also given the franchise tag. Details of Bryant and Thomas’ contracts as the day goes on.
King Jut (@KingJut92)
The New York Giants are withdrawing their offer from Defensive End Jason Pierre-Paul after his firework accident over the holiday weekend, per NFL network’s Ian Rapoport. Pierre-Paul was set to receive a $60 million dollar extension from the Giants after placing the franchise tag on him. Pierre-Paul injured his hand while trying to light up fireworks late Sunday night. Rapoport reported JPP‘s hand will be intact, and as of Sunday night, doctors were still examining for nerve damage and other issues related to the incident.
This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the 26-year-old pass rusher. Pierre-Paul wasn’t given the long-term contract due to his inability to stay on the field and inconstant production. JPP was given the franchise-tag at 14.8 million dollars for this season. This latest action seems to validate the Giants’ in not giving Pierre-Paul the contract he desired.
Paul is coming off a season where he lead the team in sacks at 12.5, and played all 16 games for the first time in his career. But with the market for premium pass-rushers at an all time high, all signs point to Pierre-Paul leaving the Giants next off-season.
King Jut (@KingJut92)
In the past few weeks, there was much speculation in regards to perennial all-star Dwyane Wade‘s status with the Miami Heat. When he opted out of his contract with Miami, rumors flood the news wire with reports that Wade may be headed for the Los Angeles Lakers. Some publications had even assumed that he may join his friend LeBron James in Cleveland after Wade’s father was seen wearing a Cavaliers t-shirt. Today, all of the speculation can be put to rest now that the guard has inked a new $20 Million deal with the Heat for 1 year.
Without a doubt one of the greatest players the franchise has ever seen, Wade lead the Heat to 3 championship trophies, one without LeBron in 2006, and has been their most consistent player when healthy. Though he has had issues staying on the court throughout his career, post-LeBron, he averaged 21.5 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 62 games last season. As the franchise’s unquestionable star, Dwyane Wade has routinely taken discount contracts from the Heat to ensure their ability to sign notable talent. This time, at 33-years-old and not much left in the tank, Wade was looking to cash out and did just that.
Now that next season is taken care of, one can only assume that his future with the Heat will be the majory story line at the end of next season.
Rocko Rathon (@Rocko_CNK)
17 year NBA veteran Paul Pierce is still a force to be reckoned with even at the age of 37. Spending most of his career playing in Boston, leading the team to a championship trophy alongside coach Doc Rivers, he bounced around the league in recent years. Pierce was traded to the Brooklyn Nets prior to the 2013-2014 season and then joined the Washington Wizards last year. In his time there, he averaged a career low in points and rebounds but his contributions to the team far outweighed any stat line. In the playoffs, he was the heart and soul of the Wizards franchise, leading them to the 2nd round with clutch performances.
With his Wizards contract expired, Pierce had many suitors looking for his services. Some thought he might make a return to Boston, which has a positive future with young talent on the floor and coaching end. But earlier this week, rumors began to swirl in Los Angeles, hinting that he may rejoin former coach Doc Rivers, who had previously attempted to recruit him to the Clippers last offseason. Today, it has been confirmed that Pierce has signed on to play with Lob city.
According to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, the deal is for 3 years and it is “mini-mid level for taxpaying teams.” 2 years at $3.3 Million and an option for the 3rd year. Pierce could be the missing link the Clippers have needed in their past few playoff runs that can provide much needed clutch performances when necessary. If LA can resign center DeAndre Jordan, they will definitely be a favorite to come out of the western conference next season.
Rocko Rathon – @Rocko_CNK
This NBA offseason has already been interesting and it has not even formally begun. With rumors of where Dwyane Wade will land, and Kevin Love opting out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, amongst other items, everyone will be tuned in at the start of next season. Today, some major news is coming out of San Antonio. According to ESPN, the Spurs franchise is optimistic that aging veterans Tim Duncan, 39, and Manu Ginobili, 39, will return to play next season. Both men, who will become free agents this Wednesday, will be offered reduced contracts in order to allow the team to resign restricted free agent Kawhi Leonard and pursue LaMarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge, who has been at odds with the Portland Trailblazers front office, is 99% sure he will be leaving the team according to ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard. With that said, Aldridge has expressed that San Antonio is at the top of his list for possible destinations. Followed by the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. Aldridge played High School basketball in Dallas and played closer to San Antonio during his college years at the University of Texas in Austin.
As for Duncan and Ginobili, the duo have not yet formally confirmed or denied whether or not they will play next season but the team not only feel strongly that they will return but are bold enough to offer them reduced contracts. Being competitive the past few seasons, landing in the NBA Finals 2 of the last 3 years, winning one of them, an improving Leonard and the addition of Aldridge would give a major boost to their stock in the western conference.
Rocko Rathon (@Rocko_CNK)
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade is without a doubt one of the most decorated players to ever wear the franchise’s uniform. Drafted in the first round in 2003, he has helped lead the team to 3 championship trophies. Now at 34 years-old, and struggling to remain healthy, Wade holds the player option on his current contract and has the ability to void his current deal in search of a better one. But who would be interested in an aging star at the tail end of his career? Who, the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, the Lake Show is apparently very interested in adding the aging veteran to their roster next season. The team already has Kobe Bryant who is going into the last year of his current contract so adding Wade to the equation does not seem like a move that would help the “rebuilding phase.” The contract negotiations between Wade and the Heat have been ongoing, with his father wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey out in public recently. It will definitely be interesting to see how things play out this offseason.
No country for old men? – @Rocko_CNK
The Carolina Panthers are on the verge of locking up franchise quarterback Cam Newton. USA Today Sports is reporting that the extension is for 5 years and upwards of $100 million dollars. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the contract will keep Newton in Carolina until the year 2020. Newton, age 26, was entering the final year of his rookie contract and was scheduled to make $14.667 million in 2015. This new contract will put Newton in the $20 million dollar a year category with QB’s such as New York’s Eli Manning, Green Bay’s Aaron Rogers, Baltimore’s Joe Flacco, and New Orleans’ Drew Brees to name a few.
But as so many NFL fans understand, not all $100 million dollar contracts are made the same. Details of the contract are still unknown but Black and Blue Review reported Newton could be getting guaranteed money “north of $40 million.” That might be more in the Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick range of money.
The two sides have been trying to get a deal reached for months now. Jonathan Jones and Person of the Charlotte Observer believed that Newton wanted players such as, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson to receive their deals so he would have something to judge off of. Once the deal is signed Newton will then have to live up to the new expectations placed on him.