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Draft concluded, Falcons can address Julio Jones' contract

The conclusion of the NFL draft means the Atlanta Falcons can focus on another important matter: a long-term contract for Julio Jones.

There have been no discussions between the team and Jones' agent, Jimmy Sexton. However, general manager Thomas Dimitroff continues to indicate that Jones is a priority.

"There is no question that our focus in the future will be on Julio Jones and where we are," Dimitroff told ESPN.com. "I don't want to get into specifics about the timing of that, obviously. But now that the draft is over and we continue to build this football team, we understand that Julio is a very important part of our building and evolving as a championship-type team."

Jones, 26, was named to his second Pro Bowl last season after setting a franchise single-season record with 1,593 receiving yards. He had seven 100-plus-yard games, including a team-record 259 yards on 11 receptions at Green Bay.

The Falcons exercised the fifth-year option on Jones' rookie contract last season, assuring Jones would be in the fold for the 2015 season at a cost of $10,176,000. He would become an unrestricted free agent in 2016 if not signed to a new deal or slapped with the franchise tag, which was $12.823 million for receivers this season.

Jones no doubt wants to be paid among the league's top receivers. Detroit's Calvin Johnson leads the way at $16 million per year.

It is fair to wonder if the Falcons have any reservations about signing Jones to a lucrative deal because of concerns about his previously injured right foot. Jones suffered a fifth metatarsal fracture in the foot in Week 5 of the 2013 campaign and missed the rest of the season. He fractured the same foot prior to the 2011 NFL draft.

Dimtroff was asked if the history with Jones' foot is an issue.

"That's not my concern right now," Dimitroff said. "That's not my concern, period."

Last July, the Falcons signed their other top receiver, Roddy White, to an extension through the 2017 season. White, who has a close bond with Jones, has not offered advice to Jones on how to approach the contract situation.

"I don't give advice about nobody's money," White said. "I just want him to be the highest paid receiver in the league."