NFL players in these situations have no leverage thanks to their weak CBA.
NFL teams can cut them if they underperform and not pay them the full amount of their contract. If they overperform they have zero leverage in getting a new deal and the owners can just underpay them. It is win-win for the owners almost every time.
Here is the latest on the Julio Jones situation via PFT.
Jeff Schultz of The Athletic reported Wednesday night that the Falcons recently informed Jones they have not budgeted for a renegotiation for 2018 and have no plans to give Jones a raise for this season. Jones signed a five-year, $71.25 million contract extension with the Falcons before the 2015 season but is scheduled to make only $10.5 million in base salary for 2018.
All Jones can do is sit out of training camp, but at some point, he has to report or not get paid. The Falcons can fine him for not showing up during training camp or they can waive those fines, but whatever the case, Jones absence is more symbolic than any type of leverage he has.
The Falcons have promised to look into renegotiating next season, but not this year and Jones is just going to have to live with that.