In case you missed it late Wednesday night, Atlanta Falcons brass blinked first, and will give Julio Jones a contract adjustment for 2018. Jeff Schultz of The Athletic reported the team agreed to move $2 million of his 2019 base salary into a bonus for this season, and it was enough to get Jones into camp on Thursday.
But before that happened, one Atlanta media member tried to appeal to Jones’ human side by using his son to implore Jones to report for camp even without a pay bump.
And on Thursday morning, the Falcons responded.
What about the children!
If you’re wondering what the heck we’re talking about, that’s understandable. So here’s the story.
Buck Lanford is a co-host for Fox 5’s morning show, “Good Morning Atlanta.” On Tuesday, he actually tweeted what you see below:
My 10 year old son is a huge fan. The pic below has been his long time screen saver.
Just thought you should know.
— Buck Lanford (@BuckFOX5) July 25, 2018
“Dear Julio Jones,” Lanford began, using Jones’ Twitter handle. “My 10 year old son is a huge fan. The pic below has been his long time screen saver. Tonight, he told me he is changing it to a solo shot of (Matt Ryan) or (Devonta Freeman). Just thought you should know. Sincerely, BL.”
Now, generally, we try to avoid public criticism of other media members. But Lanford’s stunt was both corny and misplaced. Was Jones really going to end his holdout because a kid he’s probably never met before was going to change his screensaver? A screensaver?
Also, no matter what you think about how much NFL players earn, they are paid commensurate with their skills and what their specific market will bear. Jones saw players who are not nearly as productive as he is making more money, and he wanted a raise.
It seems highly unlikely Jones would ever tell Lanford he shouldn’t maximize his contract with Fox 5, so why can’t Jones do the same? And let’s be real: Lanford can be on television, doing the job he does right now, for decades. Jones can’t.
So that’s the backstory. Lanford was dragged by many – if you’re a fan of “the ratio” on Twitter, know that Lanford got roughly twice as many comments as likes – but he didn’t take the tweet down.
‘Just in case’
Lanford’s tweet did not go unnoticed by the Falcons, or at least whoever runs their social media.
And on Thursday morning, the team’s Twitter feed threw some high-grade shade.
Just in case anyone needs a new phone wallpaper or desktop screensaver… pic.twitter.com/Mj2EeoLhBQ
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) July 26, 2018
With the note, “Just in case anyone needs a new phone wallpaper or desktop screensaver…,” were two images of Jones and head coach Dan Quinn. In the foreground, they’re about to share a high-five, and in the background, Jones has his arm around Quinn’s shoulders.
Nicely done, Falcons.