Falcons were never going to let Julio Jones get away

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has always wanted the team to keep wide receiver Julio Jones. (AP photo)

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has always wanted the team to keep wide receiver Julio Jones. (AP photo)

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has always wanted the team to keep wide receiver Julio Jones. (AP photo)

The two best players on the Falcons’ roster are the guy who throws the ball (Matt Ryan) and the guy who usually catches the ball (Julio Jones). So anybody grasping for reasons for the team’s failures who suggests the Falcons would be better off without Jones avoids one simple fact: He might be the only guy on the roster that scares the opponent.

The Falcons have signed Jones to a five-year extension, reportedly worth $71.25 million ($47 million guaranteed), according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

The deal was not a surprise. Nobody in the Falcons’ hierarchy — owner Arthur Blank, general manager Thomas Dimitroff, coach Dan Quinn — was going to let Jones get away in free agency after this season. If the deal wasn’t done, the team would’ve slapped the franchise tag on Jones. Jones’ deal was in line with contract extensions given to two other receivers, Dallas’s Dez Bryant and Denver’s Demaryius Thomas (five years, $70 million). Both are good but neither is at Jones’ level.

There has been this debate about whether the Falcons, who have so many needs, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines, should be committing so many assets to a wide receiver. It’s an understandable concern. But a team also needs players who can win games, and Jones and Ryan are the only two players on the team who can do that.

After Quinn was hired as head coach in February, I asked him if his vision of the team included Jones. There had been (baseless) speculation the team could move Jones for assets before the draft.

His response: “Absolutely — I can’t wait (to meet him). Just a chance to go through the process with him. … We love great players. We’re trying to celebrate all the good guys. We’re trying to collect more great players, not the other way around.”

Makes perfect sense.

SO I WENT TO a baseball game and a Julio Jones’s signing broke out. But here’s a link to my column on Jonny Gomes, who has provided Braves’ fans with some needed comic relief.

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Reader Comments 0

30 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

I know it's only pre- season but I haven't seen anything to like about this new regime or team. All they have proven so far is that Ryan can't complete a pass from the prone position.

I assume "Rise Up" was the battle cry for Ryan to get up off the ground.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@TideDawg I just hope it isn't eventually stretcher bearers giving that chant.

JSSN
JSSN

@Wilbo

Not in the least interested, you don't get it. It is not about "Michael Vick." Like him or dislike him, that is on you, don't involve me in that silliness. Don't tag me with it, and don't mention me. You've fallen for the propaganda parade presented by clowns like RangeRover and Dishonest and Highly Uniformed. I can care less if Michael Vick returned to NFL after Philadelphia. The issue was always whether someone who had been sentenced, held, served their imprisonment, and in turn been released and under the requirements of their release been allowed to seek legal employment in the United States. That was the issue. No matter what many misinformed posters tried to painted it as, the old CBA did not allow the Commissioner to restrict a person who had met  those requirements from seeking a position in the National Football League. I said it all along, if you were a Falcons fan, you wanted Vick to get another job as quick as possible in 2009, it took him off their cap books!

Michael Vick did the Falcons a huge favor when he went Chapter 13 bankruptcy, blind haters don't see it. He (Vick) could have easily liquidated unsecured debt like the Falcons under Chapter 7, or taken his business liabilities Chapter 11 and the Falcons would have gotten no relief. Instead, they got some of their signing bonus back and some cap relief. So, it is up to you, let blog demagogues taint your thinking if you want, I'm not playing along. Like I said, there is no room for mature conversation of this topic, the well is poisoned by ignorance.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@JSSN Miss the point much, JSSN? I don't think anybody cares much what the CBA or any other agreement says he can do or can't do. I don't. I'm sure according to the CBA he could go to Moscow and apply to dance w the Bolshoi Ballet, but that doesn't mean the Russians would let him through their customs or that Muscovites would welcome him. This isn't about what's legal, this is about whether or not people want him around. I don't care if he backs up Russel Wilson or gets a job at Burger King in Kansas City, I do not want to see him in a Falcons uni ever again, and lots of people share that sentiment. It doesn't take mature conversation or lilting lyrical poetry to know the man mercilessly abused dogs. Some will forgive that because they don't give a rat's butt. Many won't. Any man that would fight and kill dogs is an inhumane POS in my book, and the less I'm reminded of this useless waste of incredible God given talent, the better I like it. 

gfw
gfw

Jeff, agree with you completely.  Blank has been all-in on Dimitroff from the beginning, and Dimitroff has been all-in on paying big for a few guys and "coaching up" the rest of team out of the cheap scraps thrown away by other teams.  Is it a good strategy?  I think most of the fans on this blog don't think so.  Many would also question whether it made sense to take Grossman when Vick was available.  The Steelers didn't hesitate, and Vick looked terrific in his first game.  Quick feet, and accurate as hell.  Check out the video of his first pass, a 62-yard bomb right on the hands of Martavis Bryant.  Grossman on his best day could not throw that ball.

JSSN
JSSN

@gfw

Be careful bringing Vick up around here, there's a lack of maturity involving that subject. That's not pro-Vick, just the truth.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@gfw


It doesn't have anything to do w maturity. A lot of people just don't want that dog murdering, pot smoking screw-up back around here. Accurate as hell, my butt! See how that remark stands up come January.

pjisafatty
pjisafatty

Team looked no different than last season. NE won without a star wr. And it won't matter when he doesn't get the ball. 

Da_Mick
Da_Mick

Paying that kind of money for a superior wide receiver is fine -- IF you have a quarterback that can throw the ball down the field to a guy who can pull just about anything in, as Jones can.  The problem here is the Falcons are so completely bought into Ryan, and he basically only throws passes for less than 10 yards a pop.  Ryan is the biggest flaw in this Falcons team, and has been a major disappointment.  Yes, I know the offensive line has short-changed him more recently, but be honest, has Ryan ever really lived up to the promise that he appeared to have in his first season?  All I can say is whether it's him, or his receivers, other teams with good quarterbacks seem to have no trouble connecting with receivers downfield in the same amount of time that Ryan routinely has had.  If you're going to spend this kind of money on a great wide receiver, what is your plan for getting the ball to him?

TPCP
TPCP

@Da_Mick I think you are absolutely right. Matt Ryan is not a winner. I know our O-line sucks, but even with time Ryan can't get the ball down field. You can see it in his eyes when he gets pressured. He panics, folds up, and gets sacked. He is simply not mobile enough to extend plays and make "magic" happen. It's not Matt's fault. The great QB's know how to win. Matt Ryan is not a great QB. He's just mediocre. So, Rise Up Falcons fans. You are never going to see a Super Bowl championship with Ryan at the helm. NEVER!

mar1049
mar1049

Dang where is all the Falcon fever? Arise Falcons? You folks sound like the season is already gone. You have Matty Ice. What more do you need. At least that is what the local sports know it alls have been saying the last three years. Where else can you have new stadiums for pro teams consistently fall short. Maybe they should start playing the local high schools in the new stadiums then they would have a chance to finally win a title.

irishmafiahigs
irishmafiahigs

47million GUARANTEED ! Incredibly stupid. there goes a huge increase in PSL's ..you can guarantee that

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

Not enthused.

BTW Schulzie, Ill take Dez OR Bey Bey over Julio (my foot hurts again) Jones any day of the week.

ErkMunson
ErkMunson

Both Braves and Falcons are mediocre, and yet spending billions on 2 new stadiums. The suits aren't dummies. They are going for "fan experience" for the suburban folks and not interested in winning championships. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@ErkMunson

Bingo!

ONE championship in 100 seasons between the two franchises says it all.

39Concepts
39Concepts

71 million for 5 years for a receiver? they overpaid big---he's good, but not worth anything near that money. Thomas strikes again!!!

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

That's the going rate for top receivers these days. If you ever hope to compete, you pay the going rate. If you're known as a cheapskate franchise, future FA will notice. I'm by no means a Dimitroff fan, but this is a move that HAD to be made

JSSN
JSSN

@DawgNole

You can't tell them that point. They will tell you that the greed of money will overrun all of those intangibles. You and I know that one of the reasons they end with the overpaid versions of the Ray Edwards and Osi Umeninyiora's of the NFL are a direct correlation to that point why they are passed over by Tier-1 UFAs  (along with the fact they rarely have considerable space not reserved to resigning their priorities like Ryan and now Jones). 

It always cracks me up when folks banty about the seeming large free cap number. They are never in front of the curve. You are signing extensions, dang it, that is supposed to work in your favor! Next season they'll have to deal with Trufant, there's no relief when there should be in terms of the early free agent period!

Wilbo
Wilbo

Somebody is EXACTLY the kind of sucker this organization depends on to populate its fanbase. Sad.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@PalmBeachFalcon

Future FAs notice this franchise regardless. It's pretty noticeable when you have ZERO championships during your entire 50-year history.

39Concepts
39Concepts

when your Oline and Dline is terrible and you have limited money, you don't spend big on a wide receiver--that's not how titles are won.

cshudson24
cshudson24

@Wilbo AND here you are on this Falcons blog whining. Pull from another team. Whining over a game is pointless.   

Blasingame
Blasingame

The Falcons have been complete idiots for 50 years.  Why stop now?  God forbid they would ever consider building a solid winning team with talent; they would rather have "stars" who provide occasional flash but rarely provide victories.

Quiet_Storm
Quiet_Storm

...Falcons should have traded Julio Jones.   If Tom Brady can go to the Super Bowl and win with no-name serviceable receivers, why not Matt Ryan given some protection?  The Falcons are in for a long season.  I wish them the best...

HonchoPoncho
HonchoPoncho

   Can't remember seeing a professional football team play a game without one competent offensive lineman. That is until watching the Falcons play Miami last night.The OL had on Falcons uniforms, but that's where the resemblance to an NFL OL ended. With this line, Ryan will end up on the DL sooner than later. 

 As for Julio's new contract, they could have four Julio's on the field. With the current OL, it really wouldn't make any difference. 

   Same with the running game, put Jim Brown in his prime out there, wouldn't mean a thing. 

   Rich McCay told Randy Waters during the game that Thomas Dimitroff had been 'keeping his powder dry'. McCay was refering to Dimitroff saving money so the team could lock up Julio to a long term contract. Pretty ironic because if you were watching the game and heard this comment, you were already aware that Matt Ryan had already been pulled from the game, in order to save his life. But McCay was cheerfully congratulating the great Dititroff, and by extention, himself I assume. What a mess. 

    Julio might be deep into his five year contract before Ryan (or Ryan's replacement) can actually get him the ball. 

Wilbo
Wilbo

@HonchoPoncho Don't worry, buddy! The dimwit stooge Schultz says Ryan can win games by himself! I do seriously worry about our QB's health, though....

Wilbo
Wilbo

Hmmmmm, 19 rushes and the team's long gain is 7 yards? Pre-season, wee season, or tree season, that doesn't sound good at all. Not at all. 


Holding on to Julio - who cares? No O-line. No running game. A QB lucky to stay upright and who we all know is gonna fall slap apart if he ever again plays an important game for the Atlanta Falcons... Keeping a supposedly glitzy receiver under those circumstances does not mean jack. It's like Ted Turner being so horny to get hold of Bruce Sutter but he forgot you actually have to have a late read to need a closer.


Falcons won't amount to squat anytime soon. Don't get excited. Really stupid bloggers here! Get some professional talent, AJC, dammit!!!!!