Falcons coach Dan Quinn had good reason not to worry about Julio Jones showing up for training camp.
Jones told Quinn weeks ago he'd report on time [url=http://www.officialbruinsproonline.com/authentic-adidas-tuukka-rask-jersey]Tuukka Rask Jersey[/url] , even as the wide receiver sought to have his contract renegotiated. A training camp holdout appeared to be Jones' best path to a new deal.
Finally, the Falcons announced close to midnight on Wednesday they'd reached an agreement to renegotiate Jones' deal next year. The news came about 16 hours before Thursday's deadline for players to report.
The Falcons open training camp on Friday.
"I probably didn't feel the same stress that you and the fan base had," Quinn said at a news conference on Thursday. "There were some reports regarding him not coming. I'd known he was coming to camp for a while. That's part of good communication, player to coaches."
The Falcons announced Jones reported before Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline.
Quinn said he spoke with Jones earlier this month when the receiver participated in an annual offseason passing camp in California led by quarterback Matt Ryan.
"It was probably during that time that I felt comfortable he was coming to camp," Quinn said.
The reassurance from Jones was especially important after he did not participate in the Falcons' mandatory minicamp in June.
Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were in good spirits as they discussed how they avoided the potential distraction of a training camp holdout by one of the team's most prominent players.
It has been a good week for the Falcons' leadership team. Quinn and Dimitroff have new three-year contract extensions, which were announced on Wednesday.
Jones, a two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, wasn't happy that a flurry of new contracts signed by other top NFL wide receivers moved him down the list of top-paid players at the position.
He is entering the third year of his five-year, $71.5 million contract, including $47 million in guaranteed money.
The Falcons managed to make Jones happy with an undisclosed financial "adjustment" without a dramatic change to their salary cap position for 2018. Dimitroff wouldn't reveal details of the new agreement.
The biggest reward for Jones was the assurance the team will rework his contract following the season. That promise was delivered with more than a handshake.
"Papers are written up, sitting on a desk waiting to be signed," Dimitroff said.
The agreement preserves Dimitroff's flexibility in his efforts to negotiate contract extensions for defensive tackle Grady Jarrett [url=http://www.officialbruinsproonline.com/authentic-adidas-riley-nash-jersey]Riley Nash Jersey[/url] , offensive guard Jake Matthews and safety Ricardo Allen.
The Falcons already agreed to a five-year, $150 million extension with quarterback Matt Ryan, the most lucrative deal in NFL history, this offseason.
Ryan's contract and talks with players moving closer to free agency left little financial space to make big changes to Jones' deal before 2019.
"We felt like we came to a good agreement," Dimitroff said. "We were very creative with how we put this together."
Dimitroff said talks with Jones' agent, Jimmy Sexton, were "never contentious at all, at least from our perspective."
Jones is expected to talk with reporters on Friday, when the Falcons have their first practice of training camp. He was not seen during the 30-minute period reporters were able to view players reporting to the team's practice facility.
Jones' teammates seemed to have little concern about the status of the team's top receiver.
"Oh, I don't know what's going on with him," offensive guard Andy Levitre said when asked about the team's agreement with Jones. "He's coming? I'm expecting everybody to be here, I guess."
Added cornerback Brian Poole: "That's exciting. That's definitely exciting. Yeah. That's exciting."
Poole said players don't get involved in teammates' contract talks.
"When it comes to that kind of stuff [url=http://www.officialwild.com/authentic-adidas-jason-zucker-jersey]Jason Zucker Jersey[/url] , everybody kind of worries about himself," Poole said.
But when it comes to Quinn and Dimitroff, having one of the league's top receivers on the practice field is crucial to the team's hopes for a third straight playoff appearance.
"I sleep a hell of a lot better at night," Quinn said.
Even if he doesn't play again for a while, Baker Mayfield has given Cleveland a glimpse.
Mayfield threw for 138 yards in a dominant first half for the Browns, who wrapped up the preseason with a 35-17 victory over the Detroit Lions on Thursday night. Mayfield completed a 41-yard pass to Devon Cajuste on the first play from scrimmage, and the top overall pick in this year's draft looked sharp throughout his two quarters directing the offense.
"I just think he improved every week," coach Hue Jackson said. "I thought tonight, making plays down the field with the ball, the accuracy of the ball. Throwing the ball away in some key situations in the scoring zone I thought was huge. I think he's growing every day."
With Tyrod Taylor atop the depth chart at quarterback, the Browns are likely to bring Mayfield along slowly. This was a nice note for the rookie to finish on before the start of the regular season.
"Came out fast, we set the tone. Played well early [url=http://www.officialavalanche.com/authentic-adidas-semyon-varlamov-jersey]Semyon Varlamov Jersey[/url] ," said Mayfield, who made his first start of the preseason. "We wanted to stress that, and we made sure of that."
Nick Chubb and Matthew Dayes ran for touchdowns for Cleveland in what was generally a battle of backups.
The Lions closed out an uninspiring preseason under new coach Matt Patricia. They were booed off the field at halftime by the sparse crowd at Ford Field with the score 25-0.
"We obviously didn't play very well," Patricia said. "We have to do a better job of coaching and playing, but the positive is that we had some things come up now instead of in the regular season. That gives us a chance to work on them between now and the first game."
Jake Rudock did little to distinguish himself in the competition to back up quarterback Matthew Stafford. When Rudock was taken out late in the second quarter, the Lions had been outgained 261-40 and had only two first downs 鈥?and both of those came on Cleveland penalties.
Matt Cassel took over at quarterback and led Detroit down the field in the 2-minute drill. Then, defensive lineman Nate Orchard made a leaping interception near the line of scrimmage and ran it back 64 yards for a touchdown with 28 seconds left in the half.
Cleveland went for 2, and the Lions were called for roughing the passer. Detroit was then called for having 12 men in formation. Dontrell Hilliard eventually ran the ball in to make it 25-0.
Dayes had 77 yards on eight carries, although he ended up with an ankle issue. His touchdown came from 42 yards out in the second quarter.
The Lions had 2 yards rushing in the first half.
Rudock returned to the game in the second half, but it was more of the same for Detroit until the Lions finally scored a couple touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
"At this point, there's nothing I can do. I can say that I'm not going to worry about it, but it is human nature [url=http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-adidas-cam-talbot-jersey]Cam Talbot Jersey[/url] ," Rudock said. "There are 90 guys in here, and there are only going to be 53 here. Obviously, I want to be one of them, but I've done what I can. Now it is out of my hands."
The Lions were outscored 68-16 in the first half this preseason.
Orchard's touchdown could be a big play for the 25-year-old lineman. A second-round draft pick in 2015, he started 11 games that season but has only two starts since.
"He made a play. He made a real big-time football play right before half," Jackson said. "Everything's going to be evaluated for our players. The most important thing is we put the right 53 guys on this team."
The Lions finished the preseason with just two sacks in four games. Christian Ringo had one Thursday just before the 2-minute warning in the second half.
The Browns released linebacker Mychal Kendricks on Wednesday night, hours after he was charged by federal prosecutors in Philadelphia with insider trading.
"It's a disappointment, any time you lose a good player. He's a good player," Jackson said. "He's not on our team anymore, so I don't want to talk about him. We're going to do everything we can to improve the position as we move forward."
Browns: Linebacker James Burgess left in the first half with a concussion. Linebacker Justin Currie injured his knee.
Lions: Safety Rolan Milligan (chest) was injured on the first play from scrimmage. Running back Zach Zenner (back) and tackle Corey Robinson (foot) were also hurt during the game. Safety Marcus Cromartie went down near midfield in the fourth quarter and walked off gingerly with a hip injury.
Nobody appeared to be kneeling for the national anthem.
Browns: Host Pittsburgh on Sept. 9.
Lions: Host the New York Jets on Sept. 10.
Follow Noah Trister at Twitter/noahtrister
[url=http://www.officialusafootballs.com/chicago-bears]Chicago Bears Jerseys[/url]
Please login to leave an answer.
Basic HTML should work :)