Julio Jones is the Atlanta Falcons' best player, but that distinction is currently tenuous. With only one year left on his rookie deal, which is slated to pay the star receiver $5.2 million this season, Jones and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have not had any extension talks, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.
Jones is coming off a tremendous season in which he led the NFC in receiving with 1,593 yards. With Roddy White aging and quarterback Matt Ryan locked up and in the prime of his career, signing Jones would be of paramount importance. Atlanta has a good cap situation, with a projected $25 million in cap space this year (with a projected cap of $140 million).
A potential contract could be in the area of $100 million, a number only Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald have eclipsed at receiver. However, Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas are about to hit free agency and could command that type of cash.
Atlanta has plenty of work to do with its entire roster, including revamping the league's worst defense in 2014. Retaining Jones would go a long way toward getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2012, when the Falcons lost in the NFC Championship game.
Peterson not leaving Minnesota
Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman spoke at the NFL Combine on Wednesday and stated he has no plans to move on from star running back Adrian Peterson. Head coach Mike Zimmer echoed that notion, saying the team will not be looking for a back in free agency, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Peterson, who was placed on the commissioner exempt list for the final 15 games of 2014 after he was implicated in a child abuse case, is scheduled to make $13 million this season. Peterson will be 30-years-old in March but has a hall of fame body of work, amassing 10,190 rushing yards and 86 touchdowns in his eight-year career.
Ravens want Smith back
The Baltimore Ravens want Steve Smith back, and the feeling is mutual, according to Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk. Smith, who caught 79 passes for 1,065 yards and six touchdowns, is entering the second year of his three-year, $10.5 million deal, and has told head coach John Harbaugh he wants to return. Smith turns 36-years-old in May, but remains one of the top receivers in the NFL.
Lions' Mayhew says Bush's future is uncertain
Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is not committed to running back Reggie Bush being in silver and Honalulu blue next season, writes Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. Bush struggled to stay healthy in 2014, suiting up for 11 games and gaining just 297 rushing yards. With defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh needing a new deal, Bush could be on the chopping block. Bush's release would save Detroit $1.7 million against the cap.
Bills interested in Bradford?
Sam Bradford has reportedly been given permission by the St. Louis Rams to seek a trade, and the Buffalo Bills could be at the top of the interested teams list. Buffalo is in desperate need of a quarterback after Kyle Orton retired, and they have to be creative without a first-round pick. Bradford's trade value is dimmed by his contract and injury history. Bradford's rookie deal calls for him to receive $16.58 million in 2015 before becoming a free agent. The former Oklahoma star has also dealt with two torn ACLs over the past two seasons, limiting him to seven games.