General manager Thomas Dimitroff stated that Jones will be in attendance for Falcons mandatory minicamp from June 11-13, Jeff Schultz of The Athletic reports. Jones remains in search of a pay raise from the Falcons, but all indications hint that contract negotiations are in an amicable state, and an agreement should be reached in the near future. Dimitroff said Saturday that the club was "very encouraged" by extension talks with Jones' agent, Jimmy Sexton, and that Jones will remain around the team facility while negotiations are ongoing. Jones sat out mandatory minicamp a year ago, but there was certainly no evidence of rust upon his return to the field. The star 30-year-old wideout put up 1,400 receiving yards for the fifth consecutive season, while accounting for the second-greatest catch total (113) of his eight-year career.
Jones isn't present Monday for the start of voluntary workouts, but he plans to join the Falcons later this spring in time for mandatory team activities, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. The main takeaway is that Jones isn't planning a holdout as a tactic to secure a new contract. Falcons owner Arthur Blank recently suggested it's just a matter of time until the two parties reach an agreement, essentially acknowledging that Jones has outplayed his five-year, $71.25 million contract through three seasons. The 30-year-old wideout is working on five consecutive years with more than 1,400 yards, including a 2018 campaign in which he scored eight touchdowns in the final nine games. Regular appearances on the injury report do create some concern regarding longevity, but Jones hasn't missed a game since 2016 and has missed just three since 2013.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank expects Jones to receive a contract extension this offseason, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. "I'll let Antonio Brown take care of himself," Blank said. "And we will take care of Julio and make sure that he's treated with the respect that he should be and that he's earned." Jones has two seasons remaining on a five-year, $71.25 million contract, placing him 11th among wide receivers in average annual value, per OverTheCap.com. He hasn't made any public comments about a potential holdout, but that doesn't mean it isn't on his mind. The 30-year-old is working on a five-year streak with more than 1,400 yards, having missed just three games during that stretch despite dealing with numerous injuries. Jones' career mark of 96.7 receiving yards per game is the best in NFL history, and he finally exorcised his touchdown demons during the second half of 2018. The current contract gives Atlanta some leverage in negotiations, but the team seems wary of alienating its best player.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said Jones (chest) may have his contract addressed during the offseason, Matthew Tabeek of the team's official site reports. Jones has two seasons remaining on a five-year, $71.25 million extension that now looks like a bargain compared to the contracts for other top wide receivers. He easily outperformed his $12.9 million cap hit in 2018, leading the league with 1,677 receiving yards despite playing through injuries all season. At last check, he was headed for X-rays on his chest area after posting a 9-138-1 receiving line Week 17 against Tampa Bay. The lack of follow-up from Atlanta beat reporters suggests nothing serious came from the testing, though Jones subsequently pulled out of the Pro Bowl. Still going strong as he approaches his 30th birthday in February, the superstar wideout could angle for a modest raise or perhaps even an early contract extension. Jones shouldn't have much trouble adjusting to new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who previously held the same position in Atlanta from 2012 to 2014.
Jones brought in nine of 13 targets for 138 yards and a touchdown in the Falcons' 34-32 win over the Buccaneers. However, he apparently was headed for X-rays to his chest area following the game, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports. The potential injury aside, Jones enjoyed an outstanding season finale, capping it with his ninth 100-yard game of the campaign. Jones also scored a total of five touchdowns over the final four games, a welcome sight after he famously failed to find the end zone in his first seven contests. The eight-year veteran also finished 2018 with the second-highest reception (113) and receiving yardage (1,677) totals of his career, while his eight touchdowns equaled the second-best figure that he's ever amassed in that category. Showing absolutely no signs of slowing down at 29 years of age, Jones will look to reestablish his prolific connection with Matt Ryan in 2019.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/20||Los Angeles Rams||19||22.05|
|10||11/10||@New Orleans Saints||31||26.67|
|12||11/24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||25.00|
|13||11/29||New Orleans Saints||31||26.67|
|15||12/15||@San Francisco 49ers||30||26.13|
|17||12/29||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||28||25.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||149||95||1510||6||70||15.89||185|