Report: Julio Jones Not at Falcons Workouts, 'Not a Concern' amid Contract Talks

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2019

TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 30: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons points to the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is not at the team's offseason training program Monday as the two sides continue negotiating a long-term contract.

ESPN's Vaughn McClure reported Jones' absence is "not a concern." The veteran did not attend voluntary sessions last offseason, either, and told McClure he plans to report when workouts become mandatory.

Jones, 30, has two years and $22 million remaining on the five-year, $71.3 million extension he signed in 2015. That number has taken Jones from one of the NFL's highest-paid players to one if its biggest bargains. He ranks 13th among receivers in total compensation for the 2019 season, per Over the Cap.

A lot of veterans don't show up for voluntary offseason conditioning. Jones didn't last year. The team knew he wasn't coming, and no one in the locker room seems particularly perturbed by the matter.

Jones remains arguably the NFL's best receiver, hauling in 113 passes for an NFL-high 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018. His 96.7 receiving yards per game for his career is the highest total in league history by four full yards. Whatever Jones is doing in the offseason is working out just fine.

Jones also has reason to want a new contract. There is no guaranteed money remaining on his deal, and he's starting to get relatively old for an NFL player. The money might not be the same at 32 as it would be at 30, and Jones does have a history of showing up on the injury report.

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