January 13, 2013 Atlanta: Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez breaks the tackle of Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner to pick-up extra yardage during the final seconds of the game Sunday January 13, 2012. The pass from Matt Ryan setup the game winning field goal. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM
Photo: BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJ/bsanderlin@ajc.com
Photo: BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJ/bsanderlin@ajc.com

5 things to know about the Falcons at the start of July

Here are five things to know as we count down to the first game of the NFL’s 100th season: 

1. Kickoff of 100th season. The National Football League’s 100th season kicks off when the Atlanta Falcons face the Denver Broncos in the 2019 Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019.  in Canton, Ohio. Tickets and Packages for the main events of the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week are on sale now.

2. Gonzalez, Bailey to be inducted. Former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, a pillar on the 2012 team that reached the NFC Championship game, and Champ Bailey, a former Georgia Bulldog, will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 3. 

3. Falcons in the Hall of Fame. Gonzalez will become the ninth inductee with Falcons ties in the Hall of Fame, joining wide receiver Tommy McDonald (1967), kicker Morten Andersen (1995-2000 and 2006-07), running back Eric Dickerson (1993, 4 games), cornerback Deion Sanders (1989-93), defensive end Claude Humphrey (1968-1978), defensive end Chris Doleman (1994-95), quarterback Brett Favre (1991, four games) and general manager Bobby Beathard (scout 1968-71 and senior adviser 2002).

4. Jones, Jarrett. The only business left undone before the break was getting a contract extension for wide receiver Julio Jones and possibly defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Things will likely heat up the week before the returns are set to report for camp on July 21. 

5. Madden ratings. EA Sports released the official rookie ratings for “Madden NFL 20,” which is set to be released on Aug. 2.

Falcons first round pick Chris Lindstrom was tied for the fourth-highest rating of the rookie offensive linemen.

Minnesota center Garrett Bradbury (73), Cincinnati tackle Jonah Williams (72) and Jacksonville tackle Jawaan Taylor (71) were rated higher than Lindstrom and Philadelphia tackle Andre Dillard (70). 

Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is the highest rated rookie at 80.

Cornerback Kendall Sheffield, a fourth round pick, is the Falcons second-rated rookie at 68, followed by defensive end/tackle John Cominsky (67), tackle Kaleb McGary (67), running back/receiver Marcus Green (65), cornerback Jordan Miller (65) and running back Qadree Ollison (64). 


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