Now is a pretty good time to make sound investments, as the 2015 NFL season is rapidly approaching. The Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons both did that on Saturday afternoon, when they finalized long-term deals with offensive tackle Trent Williams and wide receiver Julio Jones, respectively.

Shoring up the O-Line

Washington has made headlines over the past week thanks to shoddy offensive line play, especially given that poor pass protection at least contributed to quarterback Robert Griffin III suffering a concussion in his second preseason game. Williams wasn’t on the field for that game, which is probably just another example in a long list of reasons why he was worth every bit his new five-year, $66 million deal.

It seems like a ton of money (and it is), but the 27-year old Williams is very much in his prime and remains one of the top left tackles in the game. He’s certainly paid as one, and then some, as his new contract pushes him ahead of Tyron Smith as the highest paid tackle in the league. It’s arguably deserved, but Williams will have to work hard to prove he truly deserves the big raise by trying to keep RG3 (or whatever quarterback ends up starting) on his feet.

Spending at Wide Receiver

Atlanta didn’t hold back on their spending, either, as they handed star #1 receiver Julio Jones a fat five-year contract extension worth just over $71 million.

Jones also received $40 million guaranteed in the new pact, which pushes him slightly past Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas, both of which finalized their own new deals earlier this summer. The move cements Julio Jones as Atlanta’s main focus on offense, and with the 26-year old still one of the most explosive talents in the entire league, it appears to be a sound investment. Jones has had foot issues in the past and has missed 15 games in just four seasons, but looks to be completely healthy for the upcoming 2015 season.

Playoff Hopes?

Both signings are necessary and Williams is probably the safer player to lock down for major cash, but which signing pushed which team closer to the playoffs? With the Redskins not having a quarterback to hang their hat on, it seems to be the Falcons. Locking up Jones just ensures they won’t lose him after this season and that he’ll continue to be a huge part of what the Falcons do. With a steady Matt Ryan leading the show on offense and new head coach Dan Quinn adding bite on defense, Jones and the Falcons could start making a push back to the playoffs as early as this season.

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