Julio Jones Rumors: Falcons WR Ready to Sit Out Camp, Still Seeking New Contract

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2018

Atlanta Falcons' Julio Jones (11) in action during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 15-10. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The Athletic's Jeff Schultz recently reported the Atlanta Falcons won't rework Julio Jones' contract this summer, and as a result, the sides could be headed toward a standoff.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweeted Tuesday that Jones does not plan to report to training camp and is "comfortable sitting out the entire time" as he continues to seek a new deal.

The 2011 No. 6 overall pick signed a five-year, $71.25 million extension to remain in Atlanta in August 2015. And while that once put him near the top earners at his position, his 2018 salary ranks No. 9 among receivers, per Spotrac.

That isn't anything to sneeze at, but considering he has five Pro Bowl selections in seven seasons, he feels he should be paid more. Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown is the highest-paid wideout at $17 million a year—$2.7 million more than Jones.

Jones has topped the 1,100-yard mark in five of his last six seasons. A fractured foot caused him to miss that number in 2013. He has responded by piling up 1,400-plus yards in each of the four seasons since, including a league-high 1,871 in 2015.

The 29-year-old hauled in 88 catches for 1,444 yards and three touchdowns in 2017.

Atlanta took care of quarterback Matt Ryan earlier this offseason with a five-year, $150 million extension. The difference between the QB and receiver, though, is Ryan was entering the final year of his previous contract; Jones still has three years remaining.

The team is reportedly willing to rework Jones' deal after the 2018 campaign but said it can't yet do so because of budget concerns.

Earlier this offseason, Jones raised eyebrows by deleting all of the Falcons-related posts from his Instagram page. However, general manager Thomas Dimitroff responded by telling ESPN's Vaughn McClure that he wasn't concerned by the social media purge and that the two sides were "in a great spot."

Atlanta's training camp opens Wednesday, and it will hold its first practice Thursday.

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