Terrell Owens

Jones’ Relationship With Falcons Strained?

Seeing the likes of Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry and Davante Adams surpass his once-NFL-high wide receiver contract, Julio Jones has stayed away from the Falcons in pursuit of an adjusted contract. And Dan Quinn appeared to intimate the sides were on the same page.

But there may be some fence-mending that needs to happen before the parties can work together again. Well, a new contract might do the trick, too. However, Jones and the Falcons have had a strained relationship for weeks, Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report notes.

Jones said earlier during Atlanta’s offseason program, which he stayed away from, there was no bad blood between he and the Falcons. That may not be entirely true as he guns for an updated deal. Jones has three seasons left on a contract agreed to in 2015, one that’s paying him $14.25MM per year but has little guaranteed dollars remaining.

Additionally, the Falcons look to be concerned about the person he’s chosen to train with in lieu of attending team workouts. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via CBS Sports) said during a radio interview this week Atlanta’s front office has been “uneasy” about Jones working out with Terrell Owens, one of the most polarizing players in NFL history.

This will be Jones’ final season in his 20s, and he’s going into his eighth year. And given the contracts recently handed out, this serves as a logical juncture for Jones to make a stand. The holdout, with three years left on a contract, also has the Falcons “uneasy”, per Ledbetter. While a contract amendment with so much time left would set a precedent the team likely would prefer to avoid, it’s hard to picture the Falcons lining up without Jones in Week 1.

For now, though, the decorated wideout is at odds with the Falcons and is part of an extensive holdout contingent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Packers, UDFAs, Panthers, T.O.

After having been fired as the Browns head coach back in 2016, Mike Pettine is back in the NFL as the Packers defensive coordinator. While the 51-year-old acknowledged that he’ll appreciate the brief break prior to training camp, he also admitted that he’ll soon be itching to return to the field.

“That will last about a week, and then I’ll start thinking about football,” Pettine told Jason Wilde of SouthernMinn.com. “I have my own list of things to do, but I’ll be smart with it. I’ll do a little bit at a time. But it’s hard to completely detach from it. [But] that’s what’s great about that time — you can get around friends and families and take you away from it. But it’s always there, and by 10-12 days into July, I’ll be ready to start camp.”

Pettine’s defenses have generally been productive, as the coach has had previous success with the Ravens, Jets, and Bills. The Packers are hoping he can turn around a defense that finished 26th in points allowed last season.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFL…

  • NFL.com’s Gil Brandt observes (on Twitter) that there were 32 undrafted rookies to make bonuses of $15K or more. The top earners were Eagles running back Josh Adams, Giants cornerback Grant Haley, and Raiders kicker Eddy Pineiro, with the trio each making $25K. Generally, it’s assumed that the highest-paid undrafted free agents have the best shot of making the regular season roster.
  • The Panthers will not renew the contract of senior executive scout Don Gregory, reports Joe Person (via Twitter). Gregory had previously served as the organization’s college scouting director for more than a decade, but he served in more of a consulting role between Marty Hurney‘s two stints with the team.
  • Terrell Owens, who is set to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, believes he can still play football. Well, the 44-year-old could have his chance…in the Canadian Football League. David William Naylor of TSN tweets that the Edmonton Eskimos have added the receiver to their negotiation list. Teams are allowed to claim exclusive rights on players by placing them on the list, but players can easily be removed at anytime. It’s unlikely that Owens will stay on the list for very long, as the wideout hasn’t played professionally since 2012 (and he hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2010).
  • Speaking of the CFL, former NFL Ricky Stanzi has been released by the Calgary Stampeders (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com). The 30-year-old had a standout performance during the 2017 Spring League, and he ended up earning a contract with the Canadian team. The 2011 fifth-round pick had stints with the Chiefs, Jaguars, Texans, Giants, and Lions during his NFL career, although he never managed to take the field for a regular season game.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Owens, Giants

Terrell Owens will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, but he announced on Thursday that he won’t be attending his own induction ceremony. Not one to follow convention, Owens also insists that he can still play in the NFL at the age of 44. In an appearance on FS1, Owens said that he could be a contributor for the Cowboys this year, if called upon.

Yeah,” Owens said when asked if he could catch 30-40 passes for Dallas (transcription via the Dallas News). “And put them in a situation to get into the playoffs and the opportunity to win a championship? Absolutely.”

Ten years ago, the Cowboys rewarded Owens with a four-year, $34MM extension. It’s unlikely that Dallas will give him a call this offseason, though questions persist about their wide receiver group following the departure of Dez Bryant.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • The Redskins‘ wide receiver is very fluid behind starters Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, and Paul Richardson, as Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington writes. Maurice Harris, rookie Trey Quinn, Robert Davis, or Brian Quick could end up as the team’s No. 4 receiver and none of them are assured a place on the final 53-man roster. The Redskins are expected to keep six wide receivers in total, so at least one of those players will miss the cut on Sept. 1.
  • There’s a chance the Redskins will employ a fullback this season, coach Jay Gruden says (Twitter link via John Keim of ESPN.com). So far in practice, Elijah Wellman has been operating as the team’s top FB. Niles Paul previously saw reps at fullback, but he is now with the Jaguars.
  • The Giants have hired Mark Koncz as their director of player personnel, a source tells Darin Gantt of PFT. Koncz, who previously served as the pro personnel director in Carolina under Dave Gettleman, was hired on a temporary basis earlier this year. Now, he has a permanent role in the front office.

This Date In Transactions History: Terrell Owens

In 2008, Terrell Owens was coming off a Pro Bowl season and was one of the league’s best, and most controversial, players. On June 2nd 2008, The Cowboys rewarded Owens’ stellar play with a 4-year, $34MM extension, giving him a substantial raise from his previous $7MM annual salary.

Perhaps no player in the history of the league has had as much contract drama as Owens, who famously complained loudly and often about his compensation during his time with the Eagles, which eventually led to his release. Owens signed a seven-year deal with the Eagles, and only ended up playing two seasons for them. His extension from the Cowboys followed a similar pattern. Despite a solid 2008 season in which he racked up 1,052 yards and 10 touchdowns, the Cowboys decided he was simply too much of a headache and released him one-year into his new four-year deal. Owens was reportedly blindsided by his release, saying publicly that owner Jerry Jones had assured him his roster spot was safe.

Owens’ contracts were always a big deal during his playing days, and often overshadowed his on-field production. After being a notable snub from the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2017 class, Owens was recently announced as a member of the 2018 class, and will be enshrined in Canton this August. Owens has also repeatedly stated he’s still not giving up hope of an NFL comeback, recently saying he’d like to play for Andy Reid and the Chiefs.

Owens’ 2008 deal was the last multi-year contract he would ever get in the NFL, settling for a few one-year deals with three different teams after his release before eventually finding himself out of the league altogether. Still performing at a high level in 2008, not many would’ve guessed at the time that it would be the last big payday in Owens’ illustrious career.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Cowboys, Brees, Pryor, Hampton

Appearing on The Rich Eisen Show, former NFL receiver Terrell Owens said he and his agent had contacted the Cowboys to let them know that the former Pro Bowler would be an option if the team was interested in his services. Of course, at age 41, Owens knows he probably won’t get a call from Jerry Jones, but the former Cowboy says he’d love the chance to play for the team again, after things didn’t go totally smoothly the last time.

“We all know what happened when I was there, and there were some things said where it kind of maybe fractured the relationship between myself and [Jason] Witten and [Tony] Romo,” Owens said, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “Time has passed, and hopefully, they know that I’ve moved on beyond that. Maybe, hopefully, they have. But for me, it’s all about giving myself an opportunity. That’s all I ever really wanted.”

As Owens waits on that opportunity that almost certainly isn’t coming, let’s round up some more odds and ends from around the NFL…

  • Dr. James Andrews confirmed today that Saints quarterback Drew Brees doesn’t have a tear in the rotator cuff of his throwing shoulder, a source tells Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Brees’ official status is still up in the air, but he’ll make a push to try to play in Week 3 for New Orleans.
  • Last night, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweeted that quarterback-turned-wide-receiver Terrelle Pryor was set to visit the Seahawks on Tuesday. However, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post says (via Twitter) that the Jets are working out the former Brown today. While Pryor’s schedule isn’t exactly clear, it appears he’ll audition for both the Seahawks and Jets this week.
  • Free agent cornerback Victor Hampton, who last played for the Ravens, has been suspended for two weeks by the NFL, stemming from a DUI arrest, tweets Wilson. Hampton, who also spent time with the Giants last year, has yet to play in a regular season game, and likely won’t do so anytime soon now that he has run into off-field trouble.
  • Wilson also passes along updates on a couple workouts, reporting (via Twitter) that the Jets are auditioning former Ravens quarterback Bryn Renner, while the Broncos are taking a look at ex-Falcons tackle Matt Huffer.
  • After playing without representation for some time, Washington running back Alfred Morris, who is in a contract year, has hired agent Sean Stellato of SES Sports, tweets Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap takes a look at a few players who improved their stocks with their performances over the weekend, as well as those whose play had a negative impact on their value. Unsurprisingly, Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford is among the players who saw his stock drop a little in Week 2, according to Fitzgerald.

Extra Points: Beasley, T. Johnson, Owens

At a season tickets holders’ Q&A on Thursday night, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff assured fans – and owner Arthur Blank – that first-round pick Vic Beasley will be locked up soon, as Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com details.

“He has not been signed yet, but it’s very close,” Dimitroff said. “And rest assured, Arthur, it’ll be done very quickly. And he’ll be very happy.”

Here are a few more Friday odds and ends from around the NFL:

  • Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson has been found not guilty on all charges stemming from his arrest last year for disorderly conduct, agent Bardia Ghahremani tells Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter links). Per Pelissero, Johnson plans to file a civil suit against the Minneapolis Police Department.
  • In an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show (link via SI.com), former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens said he hasn’t officially retired, adding that he’d be “ready to go right now” if called upon. At age 41, Owens hasn’t appear in a regular season game since 2010, so I don’t expect we’ll see him draw interest from any teams.
  • With the details of Corey Liuget‘s new contract with the Chargers now available, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap examines how the deal compares to Cameron Jordan‘s extension, and what it means for the 3-4 defensive end market.
  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) believes that Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones, A.J. Green will break the ceiling in the stagnant wide receiver market. They may all try to reach Calvin Johnson money though, and it remains to be seen whether they’ll do quite that well.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Extra Points: Owens, Jackson, Vikings

Several teams considered the possibility of signing Terrell Owens but decided against it, tweets Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report. The 40-year-old recently said in an interview that he believed he was still capable of playing.

  • Before he signed with the Falcons, defensive end Tyson Jackson drew interest from the Dolphins, Browns, and Redskins, Jackson said today (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure).
  • Free agent cornerback Captain Munnerlyn is set to visit the Vikings, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.
  • Free agent wide receiver Julian Edelman is drawing “heavy interest” on the open market so far, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).
  • Free agent safety Ryan Clark told SportsCenter that he is headed to Washington for a visit with the Redskinstweets Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com.
  • The Redskins are in on defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, but he reportedly has a number of suitors and it’s hard to say if Washington can afford him, tweets Mike Jones of the Washington Post.

Extra Points: Wheeler, Grimes, Chargers, Gore

There have been some rumblings at the combine that the Dolphins could cut linebacker Philip Wheeler, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, who adds (via Twitter) that the Raiders would be “very interested” in bringing Wheeler back to Oakland if he were available. Still, I’d be pretty surprised if Miami decided to part ways with Wheeler. With several years of prorated bonus money still left on his deal, the Dolphins wouldn’t create any cap savings by releasing the 29-year-old this offseason.

As the Dolphins weigh that decision, let’s check out a handful of other updates from across the NFL….

  • Cornerback Brent Grimes had been viewed as a candidate to be designated as the Dolphins’ franchise player this offseason. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com now hears that tagging Grimes may not be a realistic solution for Miami at a cost of about $11.3MM (Twitter link).
  • Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com provides a few of the notable quotes from Chargers GM Tom Telesco during his Thurday sesssion with reporters. Telesco acknowledged that the team isn’t exactly “flush with cap space,” suggesting there will be some tough decisions to make in the next several weeks.
  • In his comments to the media today, there were no indications that GM Trent Baalke and the 49ers will ask Frank Gore to take a pay cut for 2014, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
  • After spending big in free agency a year ago, the Colts plan to be more judicious with their spending this offseason, writes Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star.
  • According to ESPN.com’s David Newton, the time may be right for the Panthers to draft a QB to back up Cam Newton.
  • The Ravens met with a pair of top-five OT draft prospects – Zack Martin and Taylor Lewan – at the combine, sources tell Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • In an interview with Rob Maaddi of The Associated Press, former All-Pro receiver Terrell Owens suggested he still thinks he’s capable of playing in the NFL at age 40. In spite of T.O.’s confidence, I wouldn’t expect to see him sign with an NFL team anytime soon.