Julio Jones doesn’t plan on going to training camp until he gets a new contract. The 29-year-old wide out still has three years left from the five-year extension he signed in 2015 lasting through 2020; the value on that contract is worth $71.25 million, with $34.4 million remaining.
Right now, Julio Jones is ranked 9th in terms of average salary among wide receivers currently in the league. Although this was a down year in TD receptions, Jones did just fine in the receiving yards department with 1444. He ranked second behind Antonio Brown in that category, and was 9th in receptions, while being thrown at less than 6 others ahead of him. He was even third in the league in yards per game. All I’m saying is, his numbers don’t lie. I could get into advanced metrics but I know absolutely nothing about that shit.
With a top 5 QB (based on QBR), good enough running backs who can run and catch, and a reliable second option in Mohamed Sanu, and an okay tight end, Julio Jones didn’t get enough targets a star like him deserves. He’s the number one option on a team who could well be able to go to the super bowl. He’s proven he cn get the job done in the post season, in spite of his coordinator’s stupid decisions (bad play calling) and bad QB play at times. In last years divisional game against the eventual Super Bowl champion Eagles, he had 101 yards on 9 receptions. And before that in the wild card game, 94 yards on 9 receptions with 1 TD. If I want to prove my point, I could give you his 2016 numbers, but I think I’ll be okay. He deserves a new contract.
During his time in Atlanta, #Falcons WR Julio Jones has been a model teammate and his strong stance has surprised some. But he is also a very savvy businessman off the field. He knows value. So this is not out of character. Either way, the team won’t see him for a while.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 24, 2018
The only leverage I can see the Falcons using is fining him up to $40,000 per day missed during training camp. That could get ugly and ruin the relationship between not just Jones and the front office, but between his teammates and the front office, who see Jones as a model teammate and friend, could cause friction in the locker room. If you don’t pay him his worth, this star is out the door to a new team who’s gladly willing to pay him what he wants.
The Falcons better hope they do something about this situation. Their upcoming schedule is no walk in the park. They the reigning champs in week one, Cam Newton and McCaffrey in week two, and Drew Brees’ Saints. These first three weeks could help determine their season and they need Julio Jones to participate to even have a chance at coming out of those first couple weeks with a winning record of 2-1. Atlanta better pay up for face the consequences.