By: Will Brinson | CBS Sports
July 26, 2018
Breathe a sigh of relief, Falcons fans. Star receiver Julio Jones will be at team headquarters on Thursday when players report for training camp, general manager Thomas Dimitroff announced on Wednesday night.
The Falcons, eager to end the offseason saga of Jones wanting more money with three years remaining on his deal, reached some kind of "agreement" with the star wide receiver that will apparently get him a little more cash now with a promise to negotiate further after the 2018 season.
"We have had continued dialogue all offseason with Julio and his representation. We have come to an agreement with Julio, and we will re-address everything in 2019. I appreciate everyone's hard work and communication on this," Dimitroff said in a statement. "This adjustment does not impede us from working on other extensions with other key members of our football team. We will continue to work on those contracts going forward."
Things had gotten a little awkward earlier on Wednesday, when the Falcons announced new extensions for both Dimitroff and Dan Quinn. Even though their salaries don't live in the same realm as Julio's (coaches and GMs do not count against the salary cap), it was still interesting to reward them with two years left after letting it be known Julio would not be getting paid.
As noted by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora both on CBS Sports HQ and on a recent episode of the Pick Six Podcast, the Falcons weren't going to mess up any long-term relationship with Julio because the wideout wants more money. They were going to figure out a way to get him into camp.
Been saying for weeks/months on @CBSSportsHQ that any Julio Jones "holdout" would be markedly shortlived with Arthur Blank vowing to alter his contract in 2019 and many doubting how stuck-in the WR and his agents actually were ... And, well, nothing to see here— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) July 26, 2018
Adjusting his deal in a massive way, as CBS Sports Joel Corry noted previously, would be difficult to do. But it sounds as if, based on a report from NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, that the Falcons simply changed the money Jones will receive for the 2018 season.
Essentially, they extended Julio an olive branch for this season, with the promise to hammer something out in the future.
Jones was likely upset about being passed on the top-paid receiver scale by guys like Sammy Watkins and Jarvis Landry. Earlier this week, a report indicated Jones was ready to skip training camp as he held out for a reworked deal.
But it's been a whole thing for the entire offseason, with Jones deleting Instagram photos of him in Falcons gear, working out with Terrell Owens (much to the chagrin of the Falcons front office) and refusing to engage in standard #Brotherhood behavior.
Mercifully another "nothing to see here" holdout is now over, which means we can get on to worrying about other players who aren't showing up. The Falcons have to be enthused about being able to get on with their business of trying to make a championship run.
If Julio has a massive year and brings home a title to owner Arthur Blank, you better believe he will be financially rewarded.