Julio Jones is known as one of the more quiet guys you’ll see in the NFL. He’s also looked at as one of, if not the best WR in the league. Ever since Matt Ryan signed his new historic contract, it seems like things have gotten real in the Atlanta Falcons camp. Everything started when Julio Jones wiped his social media accounts clean and unfollowed the Falcons. The Atlanta Falcons owner, Arthur Blank and the organization said it wasn’t a big deal and Jones also said the same thing. There have been rumblings that Jones wasn’t happy about his contract situation, but no one thought too much about it. With Jones scheduled to miss mandatory minicamp that starts Tuesday, maybe there’s a bigger issue. The Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement released Monday.
“We have been in contact with Julio and his representation,” Dimitroff said. “We will not discuss those conversations publicly, except to say we feel they have been productive and constructive. We understand the concerns and thoughts from their perspective. Although not ideal, Julio informed us today he would not be attending mini-camp.
“We have much respect for him and what he means to our team, our city and our fans.”
Sources told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that Jones’ side sent a proposal to the Falcons, the response was not satisfactory, and Jones did not see fit to attend the mandatory minicamp at this time.
Jones has three years and almost $35 million remaining on his contract. He is aware of the seven other receivers who average more than his $14.25 million per year, led by Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown at $17 million per year. When Jones signed a five-year, $71.25 million contract extension in August 2015, he received $47 million guaranteed. That’s the same amount of guaranteed money Jarvis Landry received after being traded from Miami to Cleveland.
The Falcons understand Jones’ contract concerns and seem willing to work with him at some point. Jones did not show up for any part of voluntary workouts, including organized team activities. He’ll face maximum fines of $14,070, $28,140, and $42,215 for missing mandatory minicamp Tuesday through Thursday.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn initially said he expected Jones at camp but didn’t say that message was relayed directly from Jones.
Jones told TMZ last month that there is no bad blood between him and the team. He has been working out with Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens this offseason.
Quarterback Matt Ryan said he had “no concern” about Jones missing the voluntary part of the offseason program, despite much talk about Jones being healthy enough to work on timing with Ryan.
Jones, entering his eighth NFL season, is looking for his fifth straight season with 1,400-plus receiving yards.
Some of the story comes from ESPN.
What do you think about the situation with Julio Jones? Will the Falcons and Jones work something out before training camp start? Could you possibly see Atlanta trading their prized WR? How do you see the situation play out? Leave a comment below.