Did the Buccaneers get Julio Jones at a bargain rate?

There’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to NFL free-agent contracts. If the numbers aren’t leaked within 24 hours after the news emerges of the transaction, the numbers are nothing to crow about.

The immediacy of social media arguably has shortened that window. With a small army of media operating at the speed of 280 characters, if there’s good news about the value of a given contract, it quickly will be news.

For veteran receiver Julio Jones, who not long ago was the league’s highest-paid receiver at $22 million per year, the initial leak to Adam Schefter of ESPN did not include any financial information. And all that that implies.

Indeed, when Schefty reported on the terms of the final Jones deal in Atlanta in September 2019, the three-year, $66 million compensation package was front an center. This time, it was crickets as to the cash.

The numbers eventually will emerge. The contract gets filed. Others get access. Others will share the information with reporters.

My guess? It’ll be a one-year, $3 million base deal (with $500,000 or so of that in per-game roster bonuses), and with maybe another $2.5 million or $3 million in incentives.

If the numbers were significantly better than that, we’d already know what they are.