The Falcons have had to do right by a lot of players recently. They’ve doled out extensions to Devonta Freeman and Matt Ryan and still need to lock up Grady Jarrett and Jake Matthews. Ricardo Allen has also been angling for a new deal. On top of all this, star receiver Julio Jones has made clear his unhappiness with his current contract, and held out of mandatory minicamp in protest.
The team recently informed Jones they had no plans to sweeten his deal, which still has three years remaining on it. Jones is looking at it from the wrong perspective, argues Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bradley thinks that since the Falcons budgeted for the rest of their players under the assumption Jones would play out his deal, it isn’t fair of him to ask the team for a raise. Bradley writes that Jones’ demands are due to “wounded pride” at being the NFL’s seventh-highest paid receiver. It’s unclear how Jones will respond to Atlanta’s refusal, but the team certainly doesn’t want its best player this unhappy. It wouldn’t be surprising if the two sides come to some sort of agreement on additional incentives or some other measure that will satisfy Jones.
Here’s more from around the NFC:
- Center Weston Richburg is the second most important player for the 49ers in 2018, behind only Jimmy Garoppolo, writes David Lombardi of The Athletic. Lombardi writes that coach Kyle Shanahan wanted to sign Richburg this spring because he felt the center position was lacking last season. A good center is “vital for Shanahan’s offense to hum”, Lombardi opines.
- Tom Silverstein of Packersnews.com broke down the Packers defensive line situation, and writes that new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is bullish on the group. Silverstein lists Dean Lowry and James Looney as being on the roster bubble, and Conor Sheehy, Joey Mbu, and Tyler Lancaster as roster long-shots. Interestingly, he doesn’t list free agent acquisition Muhammad Wilkerson as a roster lock.