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.
Julio back with the group for warmups. Will see how things progress this week but don’t see him playing Sunday without new deal. Just my opinion. Next two days key pic.twitter.com/B3KTzZLj0g— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 2, 2019
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.
What will happen with Julio?
This poll is closed
He sits out game 1
A deal gets done before Sunday
He plays without a new deal