Falcons coach Dan Quinn had good reason not to worry about Julio Jones showing up for training camp.
Jones told Quinn weeks ago he’d report on time Nick Easton Jersey , even as the wide receiver sought to have his contract renegotiated. A training camp holdout appeared to be Jones’ best path to a new deal.
Finally, the Falcons announced close to midnight on Wednesday they’d reached an agreement to renegotiate Jones’ deal next year. The news came about 16 hours before Thursday’s deadline for players to report.
The Falcons open training camp on Friday.
”I probably didn’t feel the same stress that you and the fan base had,” Quinn said at a news conference on Thursday. ”There were some reports regarding him not coming. I’d known he was coming to camp for a while. That’s part of good communication, player to coaches.”
The Falcons announced Jones reported before Thursday’s 4 p.m. deadline.
Quinn said he spoke with Jones earlier this month when the receiver participated in an annual offseason passing camp in California led by quarterback Matt Ryan.
”It was probably during that time that I felt comfortable he was coming to camp,” Quinn said.
The reassurance from Jones was especially important after he did not participate in the Falcons’ mandatory minicamp in June.
Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were in good spirits as they discussed how they avoided the potential distraction of a training camp holdout by one of the team’s most prominent players.
It has been a good week for the Falcons’ leadership team. Quinn and Dimitroff have new three-year contract extensions, which were announced on Wednesday.
Jones, a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, wasn’t happy that a flurry of new contracts signed by other top NFL wide receivers moved him down the list of top-paid players at the position.
He is entering the third year of his five-year, $71.5 million contract, including $47 million in guaranteed money.
The Falcons managed to make Jones happy with an undisclosed financial ”adjustment” without a dramatic change to their salary cap position for 2018. Dimitroff wouldn’t reveal details of the new agreement.
The biggest reward for Jones was the assurance the team will rework his contract following the season. That promise was delivered with more than a handshake.
”Papers are written up, sitting on a desk waiting to be signed Julian Edelman Jersey ,” Dimitroff said.
The agreement preserves Dimitroff’s flexibility in his efforts to negotiate contract extensions for defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, offensive guard Jake Matthews and safety Ricardo Allen.
The Falcons already agreed to a five-year, $150 million extension with quarterback Matt Ryan, the most lucrative deal in NFL history, this offseason.
Ryan’s contract and talks with players moving closer to free agency left little financial space to make big changes to Jones’ deal before 2019.
”We felt like we came to a good agreement,” Dimitroff said. ”We were very creative with how we put this together.”
Dimitroff said talks with Jones’ agent, Jimmy Sexton, were ”never contentious at all, at least from our perspective.”
Jones is expected to talk with reporters on Friday, when the Falcons have their first practice of training camp. He was not seen during the 30-minute period reporters were able to view players reporting to the team’s practice facility.
Jones’ teammates seemed to have little concern about the status of the team’s top receiver.
”Oh, I don’t know what’s going on with him Mackensie Alexander Jersey ,” offensive guard Andy Levitre said when asked about the team’s agreement with Jones. ”He’s coming? I’m expecting everybody to be here, I guess.”
Added cornerback Brian Poole: ”That’s exciting. That’s definitely exciting. Yeah. That’s exciting.”
Poole said players don’t get involved in teammates’ contract talks.
”When it comes to that kind of stuff, everybody kind of worries about himself,” Poole said.
But when it comes to Quinn and Dimitroff, having one of the league’s top receivers on the practice field is crucial to the team’s hopes for a third straight playoff appearance.
”I sleep a hell of a lot better at night,” Quinn said.
An earlier item based on a real-time tweet suggested that Eagles coach Doug Pederson isn’t happy with reporters over the ongoing effort to find out whether Carson Wentz or Nick Foles will be starting at quarterback on Thursday night against the Falcons. The transcript and the video make it clear: He isn’t.
In a session that may say a lot more about the pressures of being the hunted than Pederson ever would admit, he displayed a surprising amount of frustration and multiple flashes of anger as he faced questions about whether it will be Wentz or Foles in only four days.
You can watch the video, or you can scan the transcript that was distributed by the team. The relevant portions appear below.
Q: Have you made a decision on who will be your starting quarterback? If so, who is it?
A: First of all, I appreciate y’all putting words in my mouth this week. Therefore, I’m not going to discuss it.
Q: How were words put in your mouth?
A: You saw the reports. Next question.
Q: Who here put the words in your mouth?
A: Next question.
Q: What reporter here put words in your mouth?
A: I’m not answering the question.
Q: I know Robert Golden Jersey , but you said, 鈥淵ou.鈥?/p>
A: As a group.
Q: That makes no sense. You鈥檙e not going to lump us all together, are you?
A: Appreciate it. Yeah, thanks a lot. I’m going to lump you all together.
Q: What is the point of this?
A: Exactly. What is the point of this? It’s my decision.
Q: You’re not going to discuss your decision?
A: No, not publicly. Not publicly. I don’t do that. I don’t do it with any position on this team. I will not do it.
Q: Was Carson Wentz cleared for contact?
A: He is not. Not yet. Not yet.
Q: If he hasn’t been cleared, is it your decision to even make?
A: My decision to make?
Q: I mean, if he hasn’t been cleared for contact, wouldn鈥檛 he. . . .
A: We got a lot of days left.
Q: So, if he is cleared today or tomorrow, he has enough time to prepare for the Falcons, if that was the scenario?
A: We’ll see.
Q. Is your refusal to talk about it based on competitive advantage?
A: A little bit. Yeah Willie Brown Jersey , a little bit. [We are] trying to win a football game. I don’t want to put my game plan out there for everybody to see it and read it and teams can scheme. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, I appreciate it.
Q. Who will take the first-team reps today?
A: I鈥檓 not going to discuss it. . . .
Q: When will your quarterbacks talk with the media this week? Are you concerned that you’re placing them in a situation in which they’ll have to answer questions about who is taking which reps?
A: I’m sure that day will come. I’m sure. I’m sure you’re probably going to ask. . . .
Q: The quarterback who you’ve decided upon has taken pretty much all the reps at practice today, tomorrow and Tuesday. Is that correct?
A: That’s usually how it works. Yes.
That last answer makes this entire exercise even more bizarre. Someone will say to someone else whether it’s Foles or Wentz. (Someone already has, to a reporter who works for a media outlet partially owned by the Eagles.) And one or both of the two quarterbacks will be available to reporters, and they’ll be asked the question of whether and to what extent they’re preparing to play by practicing with the first-team offense.
Yes, Pederson would like to use this situation to his advantage. But it’s impossible to keep it secret until kickoff on Thursday night, and he’s only going to drive himself nutty by trying to figure it all out.
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