It was April of 2018 when Julio Jones wiped his social media clear of any Atlanta Falcons logos, pictures, or relations.
This was said to be just a fresh start and not a sign of his unhappiness with the Atlanta Falcons. And who can blame him? We’ve all scrubbed our social media of embarrassing or just old pictures. After all, it is much easier to reinvent yourself online than in real life.
But then the truth came to light, Jones was, rightfully, upset with his contract. So, the Falcons, as any smart organization should do, acquiesced and converted some of his money to up the amount he made last year. With one condition, Thomas Dimitroff said the team would revisit it, not at the end of the deal but this summer.
And here we are. Julio Jones has shown up to mandatory minicamp and even said he isn’t worried about a new contract. Arthur Blank declared he wants both Jones and Grady Jarrett to be Falcons for life.
And yea, we laud Julio for being the quintessential superstar. The Kawhi Leonard of the Falcons. Quiet, drama free, plays through injuries, and lets his play do the talking.
Has Jones has off the field problems? Nope. And on the court, he’s a man amongst boys. Just ask his peers.
The Falcons also, once again- rightfully so, inducted Roddy White into the team’s Ring of Honor. White is the franchise leader in catches, targets, yards, touchdowns, and games played as a receiver. He had a solid 10 years in Atlanta.
But even he knows the greatness we are treated to every Sunday watching number 11 play. In his induction video he jokes “as you can see, we’ve got a guy that’s coming in here smashing my records.” He means Julio.
Who in three fewer seasons is 12 touchdowns short, 132 yards short, 110 catches, and 60 games away from replacing Roddy White in all those categories. Other than the 60 games, there’s no reason to believe Julio won’t take over the top spot this year.
Last year, Julio led the league in yards and targets. And was top 5 in receptions. But his pay was identical to his jersey number, 11th highest paid receiver. Julio represents a once every few years talent, a game changer, and he deserves a contract that reflects as much.
So, to the Atlanta Falcons, do whatever you need but it’s about time Julio Jones gets paid.