As a Falcons fan, the Super Bowl will always be the priority 24/7. Considering that every time we make the playoffs, we always choke and seem to forget how football works once we step on the field, specifically the second half. But that's not the case, the best player on my favorite team is holding out and I need for this franchise to pay bleep out this man!
If you haven't guessed it already, Julio Jones is holding out from any activities to convince the Falcons to restructure his contract. This isn't out of the ordinary in the NFL, Los Angeles Rams' DT, Aaron Donald, is doing the same thing as well as Oakland Raider's OLB Khalil Mack. But Julio is a different breed when it comes to these scenarios. The star receiver has been seen training with hall of famer Terrell Owens, a former NFL star who struck fear into the NFL's PR department with his open mind and driveway sit-ups...
An open mind isn't what the Falcons want from their greatest asset. But how can't he not hold out from any activities? As of now, he's the eighth highest paid receiver in the NFL, and is $2,748,791 behind the $17,000,000 contract Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown makes. Aside from being the highest paid receiver in the NFL, Julio isn't even the highest paid on his own team. After his stellar MVP season and Super Bowl appearence, QB Matt Ryan signed a five year $150M contract with $100M guaranteed. Ryan, like most quarterbacks, are viewed as the key component to every franchise. But Julio is what drives the Falcon's offense with his god-like abilities to catch the ball.
Imagine being the top 5 in every receiver category, but only come up with 4 catches in the biggest game in sports. After the embarrassing, and heartbreaking, Super Bowl loss, Julio has no choice but to reconsider where his career is heading considering his team can never seem to prosper in the playoffs. The Falcons decided to make a statement in the recent NFL draft by drafting fellow Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley. The pick came off as a plan B if negotiations don't fall through with Julio's contract. The last thing the Falcons need is for Julio to slip through their hands and act like everything will be fine, because it won't and this isn't the way I want this team to fall apart.
Other teams are having the same situation as the Falcons, but they're not as detrimental as Julio leaving the team. Teams like Carolina or Jacksonville who need that last piece to guarantee a dynasty will be more than happy to make a better deal to Julio. Julio is a game changer and he knows it, so the leverage he has over the Falcons is a big one. So big that he can easily shift the future of the franchise just by his choices, skills and popularity.
I mean aside from holding out, Julio decided to unfollow the Falcons on all social media and even deleted every Atlanta related post. As a fan, that scared the hell out of me and forced me to make worst case scenarios for about a week. But as a lover of the game, I completely understand the frustrations Julio has towards this team. He's playing in his prime and he doesn't want his talent wasted on a bunch of 10-6 records that lead to a playoff disappointments.
For the love of God just pay Julio. He's not my only player, but the pulse of Atlanta sports. If the Falcons let this man go, the remorse and regret will be almost unbearable. Seeing Julio in a different city dominating secondaries will be heartbreaking, and teams will do anything and will pay him anything to get the man on their team. Atlanta has the talent to get to a prosperous place in the NFL, but the bottom line is that Julio is the best of the talent. Paying Julio will not only be the best thing for the franchise, but the best thing for Atlanta and its loyal fans. So please, I need the front office to #RiseUp and pay Julio Jones.