Falcons' Julio Jones hoping for new contract before season

ATLANTA (AP) After losing a few pounds in the offseason, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones believes he is stronger and more explosive.

He says he feels like he has found ''another gear.''

There could soon be a new contract for the Atlanta star, too. The Falcons are in talks with Jones' agent on a contract extension for Jones, who can become a free agent following the season.

It seems likely that Jones, who earned his second Pro Bowl spot last season, will return in 2016 - either with a new contract or with a franchise tag.

Jones would prefer the security of a long-term deal. Two other top NFL receivers, Denver's Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant of Dallas, set the bar with new $70 million contracts this year.


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