Wide receiver Julio Jones told the Atlanta Falcons he won’t attend this week’s mandatory minicamp, the team announced Monday.
“We have been in contact with Julio and his representation,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement. “We will not discuss those conversations publicly except to say we feel they have been productive and constructive. We understand the concerns and thoughts from their perspective.”
According to an ESPN report, Jones’ decision to skip minicamp stems from an unsatisfactory response to a contract proposal in recent weeks. Jones has missed the Falcons’ offseason conditioning program and organized team activities — all of which is voluntary. The minicamp, the team’s final practice before training camp starts in late July, is the only mandatory portion of the offseason, with players who don’t attend subject to fines.
NFL Network reported in May that Jones would like “some sort of correction or update” to his contract — which still has two years remaining — adding that the Falcons are “amenable” to working something out, in part because of how good of a player and teammate Jones is.
—New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman’s impending four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use is a result of him testing positive for an “unrecognizable substance,” according to Albert Breer of The MMQB.
Edelman apologized for the positive test in an Instagram post on Friday, saying “I don’t know what happened” and that he has taken “many, many tests obviously over the course of my career, and nothing like this has ever happened.”
Breer wrote in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column, “I was told Edelman’s result was triggered by a substance that wasn’t immediately recognizable, and there are scientists analyzing it.”
—After participating in last week’s mandatory minicamp, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are expected to skip the Patriots’ organized team activities this week, according to an NFL Network report.
New England is holding its final voluntary OTAs of the offseason Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. After this week, the Patriots won’t reconvene until the start of training camp in late July.
Brady and Gronkowski each missed all of the offseason conditioning program and were absent from the team’s first two weeks of voluntary OTAs.
—Jason Pierre-Paul, a no-show for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ organized training activities, reported to mandatory minicamp.
Pierre-Paul lost out on a workout bonus of $250,000 by staying away from OTAs, which are not mandatory. More important to the coaching staff, he missed an early opportunity to get familiar with the defense under coordinator Mike Smith.
Pierre-Paul, 29, an eight-year veteran, was acquired from the New York Giants in March for a third-round draft pick. He had 8.5 sacks for the Giants last season and has 58.5 in his eight seasons.
—Odell Beckham Jr. is planning to attend the New York Giants’ mandatory minicamp this week, according to an ESPN report.
Seeking a contract extension as he enters the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, Beckham showed for the start of organized team activities — which are voluntary — in May but has been absent for the last two weeks. The minicamp runs from Tuesday to Thursday, with players undergoing physicals Monday, before the team breaks until training camp begins in late July.
Beckham has yet to participate in practice as he recovers from a broken left ankle sustained last season, but head coach Pat Shurmur has said it is possible the receiver will be cleared for minicamp. If he is cleared, whether or not Beckham would participate in on-field work and potentially risk injury before signing an extension is unclear.
—Set to play out the final year of his rookie deal and with no apparent progress on an extension, Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack is not expected to attend the team’s mandatory minicamp this week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.
According to Rapoport, the team is prepared for Mack to miss minicamp, which begins Tuesday, and officially become a holdout. The club can fine him a total of $100,000 for not showing for all three days, per NFL.com.
Mack, the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, has 40.5 sacks in his four-year career, including 10.5 last season. He collected a career-best 15 sacks in 2015.
—New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning appreciates the support of current and former teammates after a difficult 2017 season that saw him get benched at one point, but the two-time Super Bowl MVP thinks they might have one thing incorrect: The winning times don’t have to be over yet.
Speaking to USA Today at a charity event in Mount Kisco, N.Y., Manning was specifically reacting to quotes from Shaun O’Hara, the Giants’ center from 2004-2010, who told NJ.com over the weekend, “They’ve wasted the last few years of Eli’s career, they’ve wasted his prime.”
Manning said at a golf tournament for Guiding Eyes of the Blind, which the quarterback has supported for 12 years, “That’s not the way I look at it. And I think I still have some peak years left, so we can make it right.”
—All-Pro right guard Zack Martin will receive a six-year contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys that sets NFL records for annual average and guarantees at his position, according to an NFL Network report.
Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said at a rookie luncheon that the deal was imminent.
Since left tackle Nate Solder signed with the Patriots in free agency averaging $15.5 million per season to become the top-paid blocker in the NFL, 10 offensive linemen make at least $12 million per season. Andrew Norwell, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency after starting his career with the Carolina Panthers, is the second-highest-paid offensive lineman and the highest-paid guard in the NFL at $13.3 million.
—New Orleans Saints first-round pick Marcus Davenport will undergo thumb surgery in the near future but is expected to be ready for training camp, multiple outlets reported.
According to The New Orleans Advocate’s Nick Underhill, the first to report the news, the injury is “not significant,” and the six weeks Davenport will have to recover before the start of training camp in late July should be enough for him to fully heal.
An NFL Network report deemed it a “minor ligament injury,” adding Davenport will wear a cast for three weeks after surgery and need a few extra weeks to heal.
—Adding some veteran presence to their defensive line, the Oakland Raiders reportedly signed defensive end Frostee Rucker and defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin.
Rucker landed a one-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Rubin’s agents, Sportstars, tweeted a photo of Rubin with the caption, “Congratulations to Ahtyba Rubin on signing with the @RAIDERS!!! #TUBATIME”
—Field Level Media