Julio Jones to be absent from Falcons’ minicamp, GM says

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones inforeagles_024med the team that he won’t attend mandatory minicamp, general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement released Monday.

We have been in contact with Julio and his representation,” Dimitroff said. 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.

Jones told TMZ last month that there is no bad blood between him and the team. He has been working out with Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens this offseason.

Quarterback Matt Ryan said he had no concern” about Jones missing the voluntary part of the offseason program, despite much talk about Jones being healthy enough to work on timing with Ryan.

Jones, entering his eighth NFL season, is looking for his fifth straight season with 1,400-plus receiving yards.

Winslow, 34, was driving the SUV when stopped by San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies and identified as the man who had entered the residence. He was booked at the Vista Detention Facility and was being held on $50,000 bail.

In a statement, attorney Harvey A. Steinberg said: Mr. Winslow emphatically denies committing any burglary. He would have no need to burglarize or steal anything from anyone at a trailer park. He looks forward to being vindicated once this matter is fully investigated and adjudicated through the court system.

Winslow, the son of Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow, has not played in the NFL since 2013, his lone season with the New York Jets. He missed four games that season because of a suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He also was arrested that year and charged with possession of synthetic marijuana.

Winslow, a first-round pick in 2004, had his best season with the Cleveland Browns in 2007, when he caught 82 passes for 1,106 yards and five touchdowns and was a Pro Bowl selection. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots during his career.

Jim Kelly takes first steps since cancer-removal surgery

Slowly but surely, Jim Kelly is making progress in his recovery from his latest surgery.

Prior to Watson’s injury, the Texans had scored 33 or more points in five consecutive games, with the 22-year-old Clemson product putting up a 113.3 passer rating during that span. He had a league-high 21 passing and rushing touchdowns at the time and was running away with the Offensive Player of the Year award. 

Per ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is under the impression that Watson is ahead of schedule in his rehab. And with free-agent additions Senio Kelemete and Zach Fulton joining the interior offensive line, he’ll be better supported when he does return. 

Throw in Watt and offseason acquisition Tyrann Mathieu on defense, and the Texans look capable of doing big things in 2018. 

Jackson has chosen not to hire an agent during the pre-draft process, and there has been a lot of talk about him hurting his own value. He did not run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine or at his pro day, which was a somewhat surprising decision for a quarterback who is known to make plays with his legs.

The New England Patriots have reached three of the last four Super Bowls, and with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady at the helm they remain the top dogs in the AFC. But Brady will be 41 this summer, and the Pats took some hits in March.

Going by Pro Football Reference’s approximate value metric—which is an attempt to put a single number on the seasonal value of a player at any position from any year—two of New England’s eight most valuable players from 2017 were lost when running back Dion Lewis and left tackle Nate Solder left as free agents.jets_041