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Falcons Rookie WR Calvin Ridley Ranked 28th in Terms of Best 2nd WR Options in the NFL

Falcons rookie wide out Calvin Ridley is a player coming to the team with a lot of fan fare, but according to the national media, he’s got a long way to go to be successful in the NFL.

Website NumberFire.com says that Ridley is ranked 28th when it comes to ranking teams’ second wide outs in the NFL.

Here’s what they had to say about the rookie.

Calvin Ridley was the second wide receiver taken in the 2018 NFL Draft, where he will be the understudy to Julio Jones. For now, though, he will be competing with Mohamed Sanu for targets in the Falcons’ offense. While Ridley enters as one of the older rookie receivers we’ve seen, he will likely take his lumps on the depth chart before being given his chance to shine in a featured role. Mark Ridley as a mid-season “buy” candidate, for now.

Falcons WR Julio Jones Ends Holdout, Will Be at Camp Thursday

A Huge day for rookie WR Julio Jones

It was a short holdout in the end, but one that sent a message to the Falcons that star wide out Julio Jones wants to be a part of this franchise for a long time to come, and be well compensated for it.

Last night Jones ended his holdout from camp, and reports say he will be on the field today as training camp gets going for the Falcons, who last season got to the postseason before losing to the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Jones and the Falcons have been chatting about a new deal, now he’s done his part in showing up, it will be interesting to see if a deal gets wrapped up.

Video: Whose Side Are You On? The Falcons or WR Julio Jones?

SportsNation’s Cari Champion, LZ Granderson and Ryen Russillo discuss whether Atlanta Falcons and NFL Pro Bowl WR Julio Jones’ holdout and contract demands are fair.

Falcons WR Julio Jones on Hand for Matt Ryan’s Passing Camp

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who didn’t attend the offseason program nor the team’s mandatory minicamp, was on hand for quarterback Matt Ryan’s passing camp, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Falcons fans and the team’s website quickly retweeted the social media news that included a picture of 11 individuals.

Ridley, the team’s first-round draft pick, was one of those in a photo posted of the workout participants. The location of the workout is unknown. Jones is the picture posted by Ridley, scquating in the first row (second from the right).

In addition to Ridley, Jones and Ryan, tight ends Austin Hooper and Eric Saubert, wide receiver Justin Hardy, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Hall, Reggie Davis, rookie Russell Gage and assistant equipment manager Kenny Osuwah are in the photo.

The Falcons are set to report for training camp on July 26. Whether Jones has a desired new contract, the cause of his holdout, and attends remains to be seen.

The Falcons expected Jones to take part in the entire offseason program, but after the market for wide receivers skyrocketed over the offseason, Jones chose to work on his own.

Falcons to Charge Fans to Come Watch Practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The Falcons will charge fans to view a single practice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium later this month, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The team will charge $5 to attend the 12:30 p.m. practice Sunday, July 29, with the proceeds benefiting the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee’s capital improvement project. Super Bowl 53 will played Feb. 3, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The team will hold a roof-opening ceremony before practice at noon.

Falcons Add Veteran Safety Ron Parker to an Already Stacked Secondary

The Falcons are looking to put a tough 2017 behind them after losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Eagles in the NFC Divisional Playoff round, and if you’re Betting with West Virginia sports most seem to feel they should still be a playoff contender for the NFC Title in 2018.

The team has been in the market for a safety for some time, and have come to terms with Ron Parker, who started 64 games in Kansas City and was heavily relied upon last season when Eric Berry tore his Achilles tendon in Week one in an early upset win against the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

“What drew me here is that I’ve seen it’s a great fit,” Parker said.

“They’ve got a great team – got great guys, all around: Special teams, defense, offense. I just think the organization fits my style. I’ve got some relationships with the coaches in here – Dan Quinn and Marquand [Manuel].

“I saw them early in my career when I was in Seattle, so we have good background history just from knowing each other. I think this is a good organization for me to be with. Couple of steps off from winning the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, and I think we’re that close to getting it this year.”

Reports say that the free-agent backstop is signing a one-year deal with the Falcons, which is good as it should make him feel motivated to continue to play well with the hopes of landing a better deal down the road either with Atlanta or else where in the NFL.

The Falcons secondary is full of talent as well as players that should be able to make some big time plays in 2018. They will return every starter from last season, as Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford and Brian Poole at cornerback and Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal at safety will all be back.

Parker should fit nicely if he can find his way through training camp in July and August. The Falcons also added a couple other defensive backs, such as Justin Bethel and second-round draft pick Isaiah Oliver.

It’s a unit, that as always, will have to go up against some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL such as Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Drew Brees and now Kirk Cousins with the Minnesota Vikings.

If Parker can earn the trust of the coaches in camp, he will be a nice addition to the Falcons this season as things get settled in.

Falcons Uneasy With Julio Jones’ Relationship with HOF WR Terrell Owens

Falcons star wide receiver Julio Jones wants more money, and he skipped minicamp to get more money. The relationship between Jones and the Falcons is strained, according to Mike Freeman of Bleacherreport.

Freeman cites league sources who have told him this for weeks. It can be repaired but for now there’s tension.

A report from D. Orlando Ledbetter, a longtime Falcons reporter and an excellent journalist. Ledbetter said on ESPN Radio in Charlotte on Monday that the Falcons are uneasy about Jones’ relationship with Owens, whom he’s trained with this offseason.

“The fact that he’s running around with Terrell Owens has the front office uneasy,” Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter’s report may be correct, but what is incorrect is this notion that Owens is actually having some type of negative effect on Jones. Or that he’s in any way involved in Jones’ negotiations with the team.

“I have no idea where all of this is coming from,” Owens told me this week. “I have nothing to do with Julio except training. This is the media trying [to] create something that’s not even there. It’s very unfortunate. What possible reason would they have to create that narrative?”

From everything Freeman has been told by people close to Jones, the reality is that he sees Owens as a good person and valuable influence. That they’ve trained together says nothing more than that the two have a positive and close relationship.

Falcons Excited About Moving Vic Beasley Back to Defensive End from Linebacker

The Falcons moved Vic Beasley back to defensive end after using him as a linebacker. Both the coaches and Beasley are excited about the position reversal, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Defensive line coach Bryant Young believes Beasley will flourish while solely playing defensive end.

“It frees him up to play more first- or second-down nickel and be available in that way and be fresher during the course of the game,” Young said. “Not that he couldn’t handle it because I thought he did a good job of handling the (strongside) and playing defensive end. Just having him available to play more reps at defensive end will be good for us.”

Beasley, whose sack total fell to five last season, looked sleek and comfortable back at left defensive end during the team’s open OTA session Tuesday.

Beasley appeared ready to move back to the spot where he led the league in sacks and earned All-Pro status during the 2016 season.

“Man, just being a help to the team,” Beasley said about playing linebacker. “I understand that when one man goes down, I tried to step in. If it’s filling a need and helping out at that position, I’m open for it. I’m here for the best interests of the team.”

Beasley had to develop a different mentality while dropping into coverage.

“I wasn’t rushing as much as I normally would,” Beasley said of his dip in sacks. “There were less opportunities, but it was for the betterment of the team and what the team needed most at that moment. I was fine with that.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he wants Beasley to develop an inside countermove to go along with his excellent outside speed rush. He believes the defense has several areas to improve.

“Get more sacks,” Beasley said. “Everybody likes getting more sacks, right? Make more plays in the backfield. Getting deflections, that’s what it boils down to, being a relentless defense and a strong front four.”

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