Julio Jones Won't Attend Falcons Minicamp Amid Contract Extension Talks

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2018

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones warms up before an NFL football wild-card playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

As he looks for a new contract, Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones was not present as his teammates reported for minicamp Monday.

The team issued a statement on the star's absence:

"We have been in contact with Julio and his representation. 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 minicamp.

"We have much respect for him and what he means to our team, our city and our fans."

Jones currently has three years remaining on the five-year, $71.25 million extension he signed back in August 2015 and is set to make $10.5 million in 2018. That pales in comparison to the $17 million annual salary Antonio Brown got from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The former No. 6 overall pick raised eyebrows back in April when he deleted all Falcons-related content from his Instagram page. That move did not bother the team, though. 

In May, Falcons owner Arthur Blank revealed he was not worried about the situation.

"It will be fine," Blank said, via ESPN's Vaughn McClure. "It's just a process we have to go through."

Atlanta, of course, has already taken care one of its franchise cornerstones. Matt Ryan signed a five-year, $150 million deal last month, making the quarterback the first player in league history to average a $30 million salary. Now, another player wants to get paid.

Jones has four-straight 1,400-yard seasons and has failed to rack up 900-plus yards just once in seven years. The 6'3", 200-pound wideout also has 43 touchdowns in his career, although he had just three scores last year.

While he may not be in attendance for mandatory minicamp, Jones made it known in the past there's no bad blood between him and the organization, via NFL.com's Kevin Patra:

"Everybody on the outside trying to look in and trying to destroy what we built there. I'm not going nowhere. I'll be there. I love the team. I love the organization. I love everybody there. I'm good."

"I am [going to be a Falcon for life]."

Now, it's a matter of getting Jones back on the field with his teammates.

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