Julio Jones is still waiting to put his name to a long term contract that he’s wanted for a year, but until then the Atlanta Falcons wide receiver wants to prove he’s worth it.
To that end, Jones says he wants to make some serious NFL history.
“I’m not ever going to lie to you: I’m going crazy this year,” Jones told the Atlanta Journal Constitution after training camp practice on Wednesday. “I’m going crazy. I’ve been doing everything that I need to do. I’m taking care of my body. Physically and mentally, I’ll be ready to go.”
As to what might be “crazy,” Jones laid down a number: 3,000 yards.
“Well, I’m not a prediction type guy, but I might mess around and go three [thousand yards], you know what I’m talking about,” Jones joked.
A wide receiver finishing a single season with 3,000 yards is, of course, unheard of, and Jones was joking about what he said: the current NFL record is held by Calvin Johnson, who had 1,964 receiving yards with the Detroit Lions in the 2012 season.
At No. 2 all time is Jones himself, when he had 1,871 yards off 136 catches in 2015.
In order to make the 3,000 yard mark this season, Jones would have to average 188 yards per game over 16 appearances. Jones happens to be the current record holder for receiving yards per game in NFL history, with a career average of 96.7 yards, so he would have to more than double that figure to achieve his goal.
That’s clearly not going to happen, but the Falcons are expecting him to match and surpass his production from last season, when Jones led the NFL with 1,677 receiving yards in total and scored eight touchdowns on the year.
Jones has 10,731 career receiving yards and figures to pass Roddy White (10,863) as the Falcons franchise’s leader in career receiving yards in the near future.
These numbers and more are the reason why Jones has been wanting a new long term contract for the past two years, and briefly held out last offseason in the hopes of getting one.
The Falcons are yet to announce a new deal with the top receiver, but there is some speculation that the two could make an official statement as soon as this weekend.