Wed Jul 24 5:36pm ET
By GEORGE HENRY
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones speaks to reporters after an NFL training camp football practice Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Flowery Branch, Ga.(AP Photo/John Bazemore)
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) Julio Jones is using the same approach he took at the start of training camp last year: report on time and wait for the Atlanta Falcons to offer a better contract.
Jones, a two-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl receiver, expects to rank among the highest-paid players at his position before too much longer.
A five-year deal he signed in August 2015 included $47 million in total guarantees, but that deal is so outdated that it ranks Jones, one of the NFL's most consistently productive players, 12th among receivers. The Falcons bumped his salary a modest $2.9 million last year with the assurance that another lucrative, long-term deal would be in place before the start of this season.
Jones, who ranks fifth among active players with 698 career catches and 10,731 yards receiving, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he wants to be a Falcon for life.
''Yeah, no doubt,'' he said. ''For me, whatever I do in life and wherever I'm at, I want to be the best at it. I don't put a cap on myself to be like, `Oh, I want to do this. I want to do this. I want this money. I want this. I want to be that.' "
Jones indicated he's not concerned with eclipsing Cleveland's Odell Beckham Jr. as the NFL's highest-paid receiver. He just wants a deal that matches his value.
''I want to be the best teammate I can possibly be no matter where I'm at and the type of person that when you see me you say, `I enjoyed playing with that guy. I had a great time with that person,' " he said. ''More than all this other stuff that everybody gets all caught up in. Contract talk, things like this - I just love the game of football in general.''
Jones brushed aside a question from a reporter that he already has a deal in place and is waiting to meet the Collective Bargaining Agreement mandate that he must wait a full year signing a new contract.
''I don't care about what anybody else thinks or whatever we've got going on,'' he said. ''We're together here. We talk among each other. In-house stays in-house. You don't go outside of that. So if somebody else has any type of information, it has to be false because whatever we talk about is confidential.''
Regardless of his financial timetable, Jones isn't expected to return to full speed on the field for another 10 days to two weeks. He has run a few routes for quarterback Matt Ryan but has mostly worked on the side with trainers as he nurses a sore foot.
Jones took no snaps in preseason last year after playing through a hip flexor, a back injury and an ankle injury in 2017. It had no effect once the games began as he finished with a league-best 1,677 yards receiving.
''I don't want to chance anything since I've been just taking my time to get back in the swing of things, but I'll be ready to go,'' he said. ''Like I said, we have a plan in place. Nobody, not me, not (coach Dan Quinn), is really forcing something like `I really need you to do this, I need you to do that.' I'm in the classroom. I'm studying. I'm helping the young guys. I'm getting my reps. I'm getting better every day working, working, working.''
Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion) has suffered multiple concussions during his career, and some in the Redskins organization as well as around the NFL are worried that Reed may not be able to play again, according to sources.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see if Reed will be cleared to play again at some point. Vernon Davis will continue to serve as the starting tight end for the Redskins but probably should be considered a No. 2 fantasy tight end.
Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph has caught 3-of-6 targets for nine receiving yards through two weeks. He has fallen into the touchdown-dependent desperation-play territory as he just isn't seeing enough usage to be fantasy-relevant. The Vikings are big favorites (-9) at home, so it seems likely that Rudolph will be run-blocking much more often than running routes. He is still playing every offensive snap so the chance at a random red zone touchdown is there, but there are higher-upside TE2 options than the unexciting Rudolph.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (calf) is active for Week 3's game against the Detroit Lions.
Kansas City Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy (ankle) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: It is not known if McCoy will be in the starting lineup, but he should receive a decent amount of touches against the Baltimore Ravens. He can be considered at least a flex option in most leagues.
Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (calf) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: Mack will receive most of the carries in the running game despite the injury and has played well in the first two games of the season. He can be a No. 2 running back in all fantasy leagues this week.
Detroit Lions LB Jarrad Davis (ankle) is active for Week 3's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton has shown solid chemistry with Jacoby Brissett over the first two weeks and will continue to be the focal point in the passing game. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
After being a healthy scratch through the first two weeks of the season, New England Patriots rookie running back Damien Harris will make his NFL debut on Sunday with James White (personal) out. Harris isn't likely to see enough snaps to be fantasy relevant this week, but if he looks good in his limited role it could bode well for his chances of cracking the rotation moving forward.
The New York Jets have declared QB Sam Darnold, WR Demaryius Thomas, DE John Franklin-Myers, LB Jordan Jenkins, DT Quinnen Williams, DE Jordan Willis and LB C.J. Mosley inactive for Week 3.
The Cincinnati Bengals have declared WR A.J. Green, QB Jacob Dolegala, OT Mike Jordan, OT Cordy Glenn, CB B.W. Webb, DT Ryan Glasgow and DL Kerry Wynn inactive for Week 3.
The Green Bay Packers have declared OT Cole Madison, OL Adam Pankey, WR Jake Kumerow, RB Dexter Williams, CB Ka'dar Hollman, DT Montravius Adams and LB Oren Burks inactive for Week 3.
The Oakland Raiders have declared OT David Sharpe, QB DeShone Kizer, WR Dwayne Harris, WR Trevor Davis, DL Corey Liuget, OG Gabe Jackson and WR Ryan Grant inactive for Week 3.
Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (groin) is active for Week 3's game against the Denver Broncos.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (calf) is not active for Week 3's game against the Detroit Lions.
Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews (foot) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: Andrews has been a big part of the passing game over the first two games and will continue to receive plenty of targets. He should be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy is active for the team's Week 3 meeting with the Baltimore Ravens. With Damien Williams out and rain in the forecast, Shady should see a fairly sizable workload. He should be a low-end RB2 for this matchup, but with the upside to outperform that in this Andy Reid offense. Darwin Thompson will get some snaps at running back but isn't a huge threat to McCoy.
The Indianapolis Colts will have running back Marlon Mack (calf) and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (quad) will both play against Atlanta in Week 3. Both players were game-time decisions but will be good to go. Fantasy owners should feel comfortable playing Mack, though he's likely to see fewer snaps than he does most weeks. Hilton, meanwhile, is in an offense that isn't nearly as prolific without quarterback Andrew Luck and should be considered a WR3 most weeks, with the quad injury adding in a good amount of uncertainty this time around.
The Indianapolis Colts have declared LB Jabaal Sheard, LB Darius Leonard, OT Le'Raven Clark, DL Jihad Ward, S Marvell Tell, RB Jonathan Williams and TE Hale Hentges inactive for Week 3.
The Miami Dolphins have declared WR Albert Wilson, SS Reshad Jones, S Doug Middleton, RB Myles Gaskin, DL Tank Carradine, OG Chris Reed and OT Isaiah Prince inactive for Week 3.