The Atlanta Falcons were between a rock and a hard place when they renegotiated with star receiver Julio Jones.
On Wednesday, reports broke that the Atlanta Falcons and their star wide receiver Julio Jones had reached an understanding. This halted an impasse between the two camps that was threatening to escalate to a much more toxic situation.
If the two sides had not reached an agreement, Jones would have likely held out during training camp and possibly even preseason.
While Jones’ request for a reexamination of his contract was good for Jones, the moves the Falcons made were all in preparation of a super bowl run. The Falcons understood that only the teams that are locked in physically, emotionally, and culturally are the teams that win super bowls. If the Falcons had allowed Jones’ contract to continue into the season, the Falcons would have created a dangerous maelstrom of distractions.
For example, look at the Patriots dynasty. In New England, players that are unhappy with their contracts have two options: privately have their agents handle renegotiations or publically challenge the team for a new contract and then be traded away because of the distraction they are causing to the team. New England understands that while having elite players on the roster is a requirement to winning championships, having players on their team that are solely focused on winning is also critical to achieving organizational goals.
By handling the Jones situation quickly, the Falcons were able to get an elite player back in time for training camp and keep the team’s staff and players from being distracted by the contract situation.
Luckily for the Falcons, they were able to creatively solve the contract dispute. The team was not afraid of moving money from the next year of Jones’ deal to this season and then pledge to look at the deal during the proper time and place. All told, Jones will receive about a 2 million dollar salary increase and the Atlanta Falcons can rest easy that their superstar is all in for another season.