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|Stifled by the salary cap Leighton Vander Esch Color Rush Jersey , the Atlanta Falcons won’t be offering Julio Jones a more lucrative contract.
Not this year, at least.
Now the question is: Will the star receiver show up for training camp?
The Falcons informed Jones several weeks ago that they would not renegotiate his current $71.5 million package, which still has three years remaining and included $47 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the talks have not been made public.
The team’s decision, which was first reported by The Athletic, does not preclude talks after the season on a deal more in line with Jones’ status as one of the NFL’s top receivers. But the Falcons do not believe they have enough financial leeway under the cap to renegotiate the contract in 2018.
The team hasn’t been told if Jones will be at training camp. Players are required to report next Thursday, with the first practice the following day.
Atlanta already agreed to a five-year, $150 million extension with quarterback Matt Ryan, the most lucrative deal in NFL history. The team is also focused on working out new contracts for defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, offensive guard Jake Matthews and safety Ricardo Allen.
A flurry of new contracts during the offseason dropped Jones, who makes an average salary of $14.25 million, out of the top half-dozen on the list of the league’s highest-paid receivers. Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-trent-brown-jersey , Cleveland’s Jarvis Landry and Kansas City’s Sammy Watkins are among those now making more per year than Jones, a two-time All-Pro who caught 88 passes for 1,444 yards last season.
In 2015, Jones turned in one of the greatest seasons by a receiver with 136 receptions for 1,871 yards and eight touchdowns. He is a five-time Pro Bowler.
In an apparent sign of his unhappiness, Jones skipped organized team workouts at the team’s training facility this summer, as well as a mandatory minicamp. But he apparently took part in Ryan’s private passing camp in California along with about a dozen of his teammates this month.
Jones has gone silent on social media and hasn’t talked with the Atlanta media in months. In one of his rare media appearances, he told TMZ that he has a good relationship with the franchise that pulled off a huge trade with Cleveland to make him a first-round pick in 2011.
”Everyone wants a story right now. There’s no story to be told,” Jones insisted. ”I’m just working on getting myself better. I’m just working on myself right now. That’s all that is. There’s no bad blood between me and the team or anything like that.”
Jones remains in the good graces of coach Dan Quinn, who didn’t seem at all upset when Jones skipped the minicamp .
”Sometimes football and business intersect,” Quinn said. ”That’s OK and that happens a lot.”
Quinn has talked constantly of ”brotherhood” and making sure players do everything as a team. For instance, the players stood together as a team on the sideline during the national anthem for all games after two players kneeled in protest early in the 2017 season.
Quinn doesn’t think Jones’ absence has affected the Falcons’ unity.
”Do we want everybody here all the time? Hell yeah Customized Chicago Bears Jerseys , like all the time,” the coach said. ”What I’d say is if you ask to a man, the guy is a hell of a teammate, and the time he spends here, the way he mentors people, how hard he plays, there is plenty of brotherhood in Julio.”
As first-year Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine installs his playbook, he’s got one of the best to deliver the daily tests: two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Through a week of training camp, Pettine’s defense is passing those early quizzes.
By Pettine’s count, his defense has seven interceptions of Rodgers. Three came at Monday’s practice.
”It certainly gives our guys some confidence,” Pettine said Wednesday, an off day for the team. ”What a gift we have on defense to be able to go against one of the most elite quarterbacks to ever play the game. You talk about wearing ankle weights. That’s a tremendous thing for us Customized Miami Dolphins Jerseys , and for us to have that success, it’s a challenge for him. He’s not going against the same defense that he had gone against and maybe he got used to over years and years and years that he figured out. He’s still trying to figure us out, and there’s that element.
” I just love the competition part of it. It’s great when our guys can make a play. I think that from the beginning of camp, that’s the bottom line: We’ve had some great competition.”
Continuing that momentum will be the challenge as the Packers return to the field Thursday and look forward to Saturday’s Family Night practice at sold-out Lambeau Field. On Monday, two defensive starters, third-year safety Kentrell Brice and fourth-year inside linebacker Jake Ryan, suffered significant injuries. Ryan tore his right ACL and is out for the season. Brice appeared to have reinjured the right ankle that required season-ending surgery last year.
At linebacker, the Packers will turn to Oren Burks, a third-round pick out of Vanderbilt who had taken some of the first-team reps from Ryan. Burks is one of five players on the depth chart participating in their first NFL training camp. The only remaining veteran is third-year starter Blake Martinez.
”(Burks) has flashed some things,” Pettine said. ”The transition from the college game to the NFL, it takes some time. He’s very intelligent, he processes very quickly Youth Mike Remmers Jersey , but there’s still just that learning curve. . We’ll see how it plays out. It’s a big loss with Jake. I know there’s certainly open lines of communication with the personnel department.”
At safety, Brice on Tuesday said he was thankful the injury ”wasn’t as serious as it could have been.” Until he returns, the Packers figure to move forward with Josh Jones, a second-round pick last year.
Brice is a pure defensive back and Jones, a combination defensive back and linebacker, so they bring different skill sets. That could force Pettine to make some adjustments if Brice’s injury lingers into the regular season.
”At this point, we’re asking them to do all of the menu,” Pettine said. ”Whether it’s a job during the season we might not have them do, we’re asking them to do it all (now). But I think we certainly have thoughts on Kentrell is best at this, Josh is best at this, and kind of marry that together with a package; I think that’s kind of on us as coaches to begin to shape a game plan and have the right personnel doing the right jobs when we’re out there. But it’s just too early.”
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