Football fans are enjoying an era with some of the most athletic and impressive wide receivers the game has ever seen. And if you asked fans to name the best receivers in the game, they would probably only name one or two, if that, before mentioning Julio Jones.
As he prepares to enter his ninth season in the NFL (all with the Atlanta Falcons), Jones has spent his career achieving milestone after milestone, and he is still in the prime of his career. He made it to 10,000 career receiving yards in fewer games than any receiver before him and continues to play with one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Matt Ryan. As long as he stays healthy, he'll be compiling more of these kinds of stats for years to come.
At 30 years old and toward the end of his current deal, he's also likely to collect a lot of money in the future, even more than he already has. How much are the Falcons star worth?
Julio Jones' Net Worth
It has been estimated that Julio Jones is worth as much as $25 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Quite a lot of money, but nowhere near the estimated worth of his QB Ryan; both are among the best at their positions, but even an average quarterback in the NFL can make a lot more than the best receiver.
But Jones' contract ends after next season, and if he spends these next two years putting up the stats he has put up his whole career, he's likely to get a bigger contract than his last; perhaps one on par or bigger than the record-setting contract Odell Beckham Jr. got.
Julio Jones' Career
Jones' greatness was assumed from an early age as a standout athlete playing high school in Alabama. A 5-star athlete during recruitment, he decided to stay local and commit to the Alabama Crimson Tide for college.
He made an immediate impact in his freshman year at Alabama with 924 receiving yards and four touchdowns, incredible stats for a true freshman. Despite Jones' best efforts, Alabama fell to Florida in the SEC Championship Game that year, followed by an upset loss against Utah in the Sugar Bowl.
Jones didn't have as strong a sophomore year, still catching four touchdowns but failing to surpass 600 receiving yards. But unlike in his freshman year, this team was able to make the BCS Championship Game, handily beating Texas. But while they couldn't repeat this feat in his junior year, Jones had a breakout season with 1,133 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. A crucial part of the high-powered Tide offense, Jones was one of the best wide receivers in football.
Julio Jones and the Falcons
Jones decided to not play his senior year and declared for the NFL Draft instead. He was such a sought-after prospect that the Atlanta Falcons traded up from the 27th pick in the draft to the sixth pick, giving several draft picks to the Cleveland Browns to make sure they could get him.
Like with Alabama, Jones showed his potential in his rookie year in Atlanta, putting up 959 yards and eight touchdowns. In a late-season loss to the Saints, he got a season-high 128 yards on eight passes. The Falcons made the playoff this year, but a loss to Eli Manning and the Giants sent them home early.
Unlike with Alabama, there was no sophomore slump in the NFL for Julio Jones. Appearing in all 16 games, Jones made the Pro Bowl thanks to a 1,198-yard season with 10 touchdowns. While the 2011 Falcons were a Wild Card team, the 2012 one was 13-3, the top seed in the NFC. They defeated Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, sealing up the win when Jones, on defense, made an interception. This let them advance to the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers. Jones had a game for the ages, catching 11 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns, but they ultimately fell to San Francisco 28-24.
Jones got off to an incredible start in 2013, with 182 yards in the second game of the season and 100+ yards again in weeks three and four. But in week five, after already getting 99 receiving yards against the Jets, he fractured his ankle, ending his season.
However, he rebounded phenomenally from his injury for the 2014 season, achieving 100+ receiving yards in three of the first five games of the season. In a game against the Packers in late November, Jones exploded for 11 catches and 259 yards, including a touchdown. Ultimately, he finished the year with 1,593 yards (third in the NFL) and six touchdowns.
Before the 2015 season, the Falcons rewarded Jones' elite level of play with a contract extension: $71.25 million over five years, with $47 million guaranteed. He rewarded the team with a season for the ages. Jones had over 100 receiving yards in nine of the 16 games in 2015, with a high of 178 yards against Carolina in week 16. He finished with 1,871 receiving yards, not only leading the NFL that season but good enough for the second-most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history, less than 100 yards behind Calvin Johnson's 2012 season. His 136 receptions also led the league and were also the second-most all-time in one season (behind Marvin Harrison in 2002). It was a historic season, but not enough to carry the Falcons into the playoffs, as they finished 8-8 on the outside looking in.
Jones kept on rolling in 2016. Matt Ryan was the league MVP, and Jones was his No. 1 target. In the fourth game of the season against the Panthers, Jones caught 12 passes for 300 yards. On the season, he had 1,409 yards and six touchdowns. The Falcons made the playoffs as the NFC's second seed. After beating the Seahawks, they hosted Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. Jones had 180 yards and two touchdowns on nine catches, and the Falcons made their second-ever Super Bowl - and Jones' first.
Facing Bill Belichick's Patriots, the Falcons dominated at first to build a 28-3 lead. But Tom Brady led an improbable comeback, taking the game to overtime and ultimately winning 34-28, finishing the Falcons' collapse. Jones has targeted just four times all game, making a catch each time for 87 yards.
2017 was another similarly fantastic year for Jones; 1,444 receiving yards (second in the league) on 88 catches, including one particular standout game (12 catches for 253 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay). The Falcons snuck into the playoffs as a Wild Card, defeating the Rams before falling to the Eagles. Jones caught nine passes in each game.
Some were worried that 2018 was becoming a down year for Jones, as he didn't catch a touchdown pass until his eighth game of the season. But he still averaged 116 yards per game in those first seven touchdown-less games and ended up with eight TDs to end the season. For the first time since 2015, he led the NFL in both catches (113) and receiving yards (1,677). He has been an All-Pro in each of the last four seasons (First-Team All-Pro in 2015 and 2016, Second Team All-Pro in 2017 and 2018).
Julio Jones' Contract: How Much Does He Make?
Currently, Jones is still in the middle of the contract extension he signed before the 2015 season. He has two more years left on the deal.
According to Spotrac, $2.9 million of his 2019 salary (along with $1.5 million of his 2018 salary) was converted to a bonus before the 2018 season. As such, he's set to make $9.6 million in salary in 2019, followed by an $11.426 million salary in 2020. That will bring his career earnings up from the current $76.6 million to about $97.6 million.
When this contract ends, Jones will be nearly 32. That may hinder his ability to get a long-term deal, but as a Falcons icon and Atlanta mainstay, the team may sign him to a new lucrative extension before his current one expires. Currently, he isn't even in the top 10 in terms of yearly wide receiver salary despite consistently being near the top of the statistical leaders. Could his new deal eclipse the mega-deals other stars like Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr. have?
Julio Jones' Endorsements
Julio Jones is certainly one of the quieter superstars in the NFL, but he's still one of the biggest names in the sport. And plenty of big names have wanted his name attached to them. One, for a time, was Under Armour (UA) . But Jones parted ways with Under Armour in 2018 despite having one more year left on his deal. Later that season, he was seen playing in a pair of Nike (NKE) Air Jordans.
Also, Jones has appeared in ads for companies like VISA (V) , Bose, Foot Locker, and YouTube TV.
Julio Jones' House
Julio Jones actually has multiple houses in the Atlanta area, choosing to use his wealth to invest in real estate. Toward the end of 2018, Realtor.com reported on three recent purchases Jones had made. The most expensive of these homes was a $2.3 million two-story penthouse, along with a $555,000 brick home in Briarmoor Manor and a $532,500 four-bedroom brick ranch with more than half an acre of land.
Real Estate Investments
Jones' interest in real estate extends beyond purchasing homes. Julio Jones is one of the investors that has been backing a mixed-use development project near the Mall of Georgia that will include apartments, restaurants, and a hotel. The project took time getting off the ground, due to concerns about the large size of the proposed development. Once the size was scaled down significantly, it was approved by Gwinnett County.