News & Info/Headlines

Jones Planning A Holdout To Secure A New Contract
Here we go. ... NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, citing sources informed of the decision, is reporting that Julio Jones does not plan to report to camp on Thursday. "The wideout is comfortable sitting out all of camp," Rapoport added.

In case you haven't been following along, Jones skipped all offseason team workouts -- he did attend Matt Ryan's passing camp earlier this month -- in hopes of getting a new contract.

But as's Kevin Patra notes, with three seasons left on Jones' current deal, the Falcons have balked at acquiescing to the All-Pro receiver. In fact, The Athletic reported last week that the team had informed Jones they have not budgeted for a renegotiation for 2018 and have no plans to give Jones a raise for this season.

Apparently, that's not an acceptable compromise for Jones.

Jones enters the third year of a five-year, $71.25 million contract extension signed in 2015, which lasts through the 2020 season. He has three years and $34.4 million left on the deal. Jones' current contract averages $14.25 million per season over the life of the deal. The average places him ninth among all receivers.

The 29-year-old wideout believes he's worth more and willing to skip time to prove his point. The Falcons have the option to fine Jones up to $40,000 for each day missed during training camp, per the collective bargaining agreement.

Patra added: "While it always felt like a longshot that the Falcons would agree to re-do Jones' contract with three years left -- NFL teams hate setting new precedents -- the wideout is utilizing the only leverage he owns at the moment: Withholding his services."

Of course, Jones could have signed a shorter contract with the Falcons. Instead, he chose a five-year deal because it maximized the guaranteed money (in the form of a signing bonus) he could get from the Falcons.

So how long could the holdout last?

That obviously depends on how the Falcons handle the situation. As Rapoport pointed out, in recent years, Antonio Brown, Marshawn Lynch and Rob Gronkowski have seen their deals reworked by moving money forward from a future season.

That's an option here.

The concern for fantasy owners isn't training camp. It's the possibility of Jones being willing to sit out regular-season games to prove his point. Doing so, of course, would cost him $617,000 a week (the amount of his game checks under the current deal).

So while Jones seems resolute in getting a pay raise this season (as opposed to next year), missing out on those weekly paychecks will test that resolve.

In the meantime, I'll be watching the situation and reporting back as developments warrant.