Atlanta Falcons

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick said this about Julio Jones' holdout

In this Jan. 1, 2017, file photo, former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick stands on the sidelines before an NFL football game between the Falcons and the New Orleans Saints in Atlanta.
In this Jan. 1, 2017, file photo, former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick stands on the sidelines before an NFL football game between the Falcons and the New Orleans Saints in Atlanta. AP Photo

For eight years, Michael Vick was the top player in the Atlanta Falcons’ fold. Now, the four-time Pro Bowler thinks his former team’s latest playmaker deserves a raise.

Vick spoke to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter this week and discussed the status of Falcons receiver Julio Jones. Vick showed his support for Jones, who is fresh off a 1,444-yard season for Atlanta.

“To my knowledge, Julio is holding out for a bigger contract, and Julio deserves it,” Vick told Ledbetter. “Julio and Matt [Ryan] are the ultimate combination. They just paid Matt, and I think Julio should get everything that he deserves, too.”

Jones sat out the Falcons’ OTAs before also sitting out the team’s mandatory mini camp, much to the surprise of head coach Dan Quinn and others around the Falcons organization. Jones’ decision to sit comes at a time in which the market for receivers has exploded, with free agents such as Sammy Watkins (three years, $48 million) and Allen Robinson (three years, $42 million) agreeing to big deals.

Jones, meanwhile, is set to make $10.5 million in 2018 per the deal he agreed to in 2015.

In Vick’s eyes, Jones will handle the holdout the right way until it reaches a conclusion.

“He’ll be professional,” Vick said. “He’ll go about it the right way. But you know, this is a grown man who has (surpassed) expectations even though everyone expected him to be great, and this guy continues to get it done for the Falcons.

“I think he is a guy that Matt Ryan has to have. Him and (fellow receiver) Mohamed Sanu. But definitely, they complement each other. Julio opens everything up.”

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