Julio Jones is expected to be absent when the Atlanta Falcons begin organized team activities on Monday, and the wide receiver would like “some sort of correction or update” to his contract, according to an NFL Network report Friday.
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Falcons are not overly worried about Jones missing OTAs, and they are “amenable” to tweaking his contract — which still has two years remaining. Per the report, because Jones is a great player and good teammate, management has no particular aversion to addressing Jones’ deal.
Jones, 29, is due $10.5 million in base salary this season and $12.5 million in 2019 as part of a five-year, $71.3 million extension with $47 million guaranteed he signed in August 2015.
His annual average of $14.3 million currently ranks eighth among NFL wideouts, trailing four players (Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry and Davante Adams) who have signed new extensions since late December. Antonio Brown is the league’s highest paid receiver at $17 million annually, the result of a deal he signed in February 2017 after seeking a raise during the 2016 offseason.
—Young quarterbacks are a hook for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” documentary series, and Baker Mayfield happens to be the hottest commodity in the rookie QB market as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, even though the Browns had previously acquired their intended starter — Tyrod Taylor — in a deal with the Buffalo Bills.
That subplot figures to be a key storyline, and from Mayfield’s perspective, additional eyeballs on the Browns should be a positive.
“Having people within our practices, within our training camp, right there trying to, not like they’re trying to distract us, but they’re there,’’ Mayfield told Sirius XM. “You could worry about it, you could think about it, but if you’re able to focus in, that can be a beneficial thing for us, talking about going into away stadiums and going into environments where you have to focus on doing your job. So I’m looking forward it.”
—The Arizona Cardinals are finalizing a trade with the Cleveland Browns that will send cornerback Jamar Taylor to the desert, according to multiple reports. According to NFL Network, the Browns will receive a sixth-round pick in 2020.
In order to facilitate the deal, Taylor has reportedly restructured his contract. He was scheduled to make $4.5 million in 2018.
The Cardinals have long struggled to find a cornerback to line up opposite three-time All-Pro Patrick Peterson. The team took Chris Campbell out of Penn State in the sixth round in the draft last month and brought former Washington Redskins corner Bashaud Breeland in for a visit on Thursday. Breeland also visited the Colts on Wednesday.
—Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will continue to be involved in the New York Giants’ voluntary offseason program as the team heads into OTAs, according to a report from ESPN.
Beckham didn’t join the Giants until mandatory minicamp in 2017. The star wideout is set to make $8.5 million this fall in the fifth and final year of his rookie contract and has made no secret of his desire for a rich new deal, though the team hasn’t been moving quickly on that front.
Beckham was sidelined for most of last season. He missed the opener due to an ankle injury, then returned to play four games before sustaining a fractured left ankle against the Los Angeles Chargers.
—The Oakland Raiders have signed first-round tackle Kolton Miller to his rookie contract, the team announced.
No terms were announced, but based on his No. 15 draft slot, Miller will make around $12.6 million over four years, fully guaranteed. Like all first-round contracts, it will include a fifth-year team option.
Six of the team’s nine draft picks are now under contract, with offensive tackle Brandon Parker (third round), defensive end Arden Key (third) and cornerback Nick Nelson (fourth) still unsigned.
—After spending the 2017 season out of the NFL, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson doesn’t plan on returning to the game.
The three-time Pro Bowler is “very happily retired,” his agent, Jonathan Feinsod, told ESPN on Friday.
Jackson, 35, last played in 2016, with his season ending after five games when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He finished the season with just 15 catches for 173 yards after totaling 253 grabs for 4,153 yards and 20 touchdowns over the previous four seasons with the Buccaneers. After hitting free agency last spring, Jackson never signed with another team.
—Field Level Media