Atlanta Falcons edge rusher Vic Beasley is among the players that did not show up for organized team activities. Being set to receive almost 13 million dollars in spite of producing only five sacks last season, Beasley has some nerve in being absent.
The Atlanta Falcons just started organized team activities this week. To no one’s surprise, All Pro wide receiver Julio Jones and star defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, are not in attendance for the non padded, voluntary practices. Both men are seeking new contracts and are coming off of stellar performances last season. Julio skipped the activities and part of training camp last offseason, prior to the team making an amendment to his contract. Grady is a possible hold out this season, as he is playing on the franchise tag unless a multi-year deal is agreed upon prior to July 15. Star middle linebacker Deion Jones was also not in attendance for the workout sessions. According to coach Dan Quinn, Jones is still rehabbing after missing ten of the team’s 16 games last season.
The surprise of the OTAs is the absence of Vic Beasley. Vic Beasley, who has struggled to apply adequate presser to opposing teams’ quarterbacks every year in his career with the exception of 2016, will make 12.8 million dollars this upcoming season. The Atlanta Falcons and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, could have easily declined the fifth year team option for Vic Beasley at the lucrative number. I have personally stated only multiple occasions that Atlanta should have moved away from Vic Beasley, particularly in this article. Instead Dimitroff and Quinn could not bring themselves to part ways with the first draft pick of their partnership, without giving the relationship one last try.
Vic Beasley has some major stones to skip organized team activities. As a player who is on the last year of his contract with a history of underperforming, this is Beasley’s final opportunity to show the Atlanta Falcons, that he is worthy of holding down the edge long-term. The nerve of a player who ranked number 103, being dead last among players at his position with enough snaps to qualify not showing up. D. Orlando Ledbetter has the story on the Atlanta Falcons players who are not attending OTAs in this AJC article. In the article he’s quoted as saying this about Vic Beasley not being in attendance.
"“We did as much as we could do in the classroom and through the video,” Quinn said. “He wanted to stay doing the training that he was doing on some of the things we spoke about. He’s certainly applying it in the training, but of course there is nothing like the on the field stuff.”"
Unless that trading that Dan Quinn is referring to, is pass rusher school with former Atlanta Falcons defensive Chuck Smith, Vic Beasley needs to be in Flowery Branch working with the brotherhood. He needs to be under the coaches supervision if at all possible, so they can ensure he is implementing the proper training techniques, in the most critical offseason of his career. Dan Quinn has talked about working hands on with Vic Beasley this year, as evidenced by this article authored by Will McFadden of AtlantaFalcons.com. Yet how can Dan Quinn be hands on with Beasley, if Beasley isn’t in the facility at all?
This brings up another interesting thought: Would Vic Beasley really stage a holdout in protest of not receiving a long-term contract? If Beasley has the audacity to do that when he clearly hasn’t proven to be worthy of a long-term deal, the Atlanta Falcons should place him on the trade block and auction him off to the highest bidder. Because if he does that, it shows he is out of touch with reality and feels entitled to a payday. Honestly even if Beasley does play well next year, unless he comes up with historic production like 20 sacks or more, the Falcons should still cut bait after the season. Too often there have been players who played great in contract seasons and immediately returned to mediocrity. The Atlanta Falcons would be very smart not to fall for such a fool’s gold type performance from Vic. The money that Vic Beasley will ask for if he plays well, would likely be around 100 million dollars. That’s money that can be better spent to reward consistent Dirty Birds such as the aforementioned Julio Jones, Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones. That’s money that can be used to add a dominant pass rusher to the defensive line. In fact quarterback Matt Ryan spoke after practice about how important the defensive and offensive lines are, provided in this tweet by the Atlanta Falcons Twitter page:
Additionally a decision will have to be made on consistent players such as Keanu Neal, De’Vondre Campbell and Mohamed Sanu in the very near future. My hope is that Vic Beasley makes enough noise with his play this season, that a decision on his contract next offseason will be very difficult. If he is playing well, it is certainly more conducive to the Atlanta Falcons winning ballgames. I wish I could say that I thought such a performance was likely, but unfortunately I think Vic Beasley is a one hit wonder like many 1980s pop artists. Unfortunately the man who had more sacks in 2016 than the other three years in his career combined together, will likely fizzle out for the fourth time in five years, and find himself playing in a new zip code next season.