A Look at the Falcons' Super Bowl Odds
On Monday, Julio Jones informed the Falcons he would not attend mandatory minicamp this week over a contract dispute. Despite his absence potentially impacting Atlanta's offense, the Falcons Super Bowl odds remain unchanged.
The Falcons previously told reporters they thought Jones would attend camp but he was a no-show when players filed on Monday. This officially made Jones a holdout and the wide receiver reportedly wants his contract re-done. He's currently the eighth highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL.
"We have been in contact with Julio and his representation," the Falcons 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. Although not ideal, Julio informed us today he would not be attending mini-camp."
According to oddsmakers, the Falcons are currently 22/1 to win the 2019 Super Bowl, which are the same odds that Atlanta owned before Jones decided to hold out. For perspective, the Patriots are favored to win the Super Bowl next season at 6/1, followed by the defending champion Eagles at 8/1. The Rams and Steelers are both 10/1, respectively, while the Vikings are 12/1. The Packers (13/1) and 49ers (20/1) both have better odds to win the Super Bowl as well.
How this Impacts the Falcons
Ultimately, Jones' agent and the Falcons should be able to work something out. He still has three years left on the contract that he signed in 2015 so it's not as if he doesn't have long-term security (he just feels as though he's underpaid). One would expect Jones, even if he misses training camp in a month, should still be on the field by Week 1.
That said, if this holdout carries into the regular season then the Falcons' Super Bowl odds will definitely be impacted because of what he means to the offense. Yes, the Falcons gave Mohamed Sanu $32.5 million in 2016 and drafted Alabama's Calvin Ridley in the first round this past April. But Sanu is more of a slot receiver at this point and Ridley is talented but he's not Jones. Instead of opponents focusing most of their attention on Jones, defenses will be able to play Matt Ryan and the Falcons more straight up. The Falcons would be forced to become more of a run-first team behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman if Jones and Atlanta's front office both dig in their heels. We'll see.