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Julio Jones still doesn’t have a contract. What does that mean for Week 1?

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With no deal done at this point, fans are left to wonder if the team will be handicapped at Minnesota.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons-Training Camp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

In Julio’s time in Atlanta, he’s been nothing but the consummate professional. Unlike other receivers in the league looking for a new contract, Julio hasn’t missed any time with the team this year as he looks for a revised deal. Everyone knows Julio is worth far more than what he’s making, but the rumors are that he wants a mega-contract that would dwarf what Michael Thomas recently got.

With that in mind, the speculation about whether Julio will play on Sunday against the Vikings has begun.

Here’s the deal: players have little leverage with which to negotiate unless they are pending free agents. The only real leverage they have is to refuse to play. We’ve seen it with Melvin Gordon and the Chargers and it could very well happen here with Julio.

To be clear: Julio has not publicly said anything of the sort. All indications right now are that he will play on Sunday. Yet, the Falcons front office have been talking for weeks about a new deal being right around the corner. In fact, GM Thomas Dimitroff reiterated those talking points during an interview at the Jaguars preseason game last Thursday night, and we’ve been hearing this song for months now. However, as of this writing, no new deal is in place, despite repeated hints and signs that it would soon get done.

Given Julio’s incredible value to the team, going without him, in game 1 could be disastrous for the Falcons, who have plenty of weapons but would not find the sledding against a Minnesota defense as easy with Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, and the gang minus Julio. The Vikings are already a difficult match-up. Going into that game without your dominant #1 receiver would be a handicap they probably can’t overcome.

Again, this seems unlikely based on everything both parties have said publicly to this point, but it’s also true that this has stretched on for a very long time. If you’re a little nervous about a deal not being done Sunday and waiting with bated breath to see if Julio’s out there, you’re probably not alone.

Let us know what you think will happen in our poll below.

Poll

What will happen with Julio?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    He sits out game 1
    (177 votes)
  • 49%
    A deal gets done before Sunday
    (1006 votes)
  • 41%
    He plays without a new deal
    (851 votes)
2034 votes total Vote Now