Julio Jones training with Terrell Owens reportedly making Falcons front office uneasy

Parents will always be concerned with who their kids choose as friends, and NFL teams aren't much different: they want their stars surrounded by good people, wholesome influences, people who will help those players make good decisions. Which is a long way of saying the Falcons might not be thrilled to see Julio Jones, their star receiver who is in the middle of a holdout, spending a bunch of time this offseason with Terrell Owens.

In fact, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, while appearing on ESPN Charlotte radio, Julio training with Owens has made the front office uneasy.

"The fact that he's running around with Terrell Owens has the front office uneasy. The fact that he held out and is bucking the whole 'brotherhood' thing has them a little bit uneasy too," Ledbetter said. "They'll have to mend some fences, no question about it, once he returns."

This is a classic June NFL story. A star player skipping offseason training activities because he wants more money is hardly news. And that's what Julio is doing: the receiver approached things passive-aggressively at first, scrubbing his Instagram feed of any Falcons photos (insert "rolling eye emoji" here) and causing Falcons fans to freak the geek out. 

Jones would later break his silence and say "we're good" but the world knows better. Coach Dan Quinn even admitted to the rift by pointing out that conversations have occurred on a new contract with Julio. Jones signed a five-year, $71 million contract in the 2015 offseason, which means he has plenty of time left on his current deal. It also means he's been surpassed by other receivers, and it's probably obvious he does not like being paid less money than Landry Jones and Sammy Watkins. Such is life two years after you sign a five-year contract based pretty much solely on economic principles. 

But the theoretical concern here for the Falcons is not Julio skipping, even if, as Ledbetter pointed out, Quinn was anticipating Julio's presence only to see the receiver flip. The concern for Atlanta is, as Danny Kanell noted on CBS Sports HQ Tuesday morning, having Owens out there giving Julio advice.

"Not that he's working out with him, that's not the problem," Kanell noted. "It's the chirping in his ear, the advice he's getting -- if he's taking advice from TO, I'd be worried."

You can boil this down either way, really. Owens is a Hall of Fame receiver, and will be inducted into Canton this coming preseason (he just won't be there when it happens). He's trained like a maniac his whole career and played for a very long time as a productive receiver. That's a guy you want helping your player train.

But Owens also had to wait multiple years in order to get in the Hall, primarily because he was a pain in the rear as a teammate and to the guys signing him to contracts. Having Owens serve in any kind of advisory role for Julio -- basically telling him he shouldn't show up until he gets paid -- could viably be a major concern if you're part of the Falcons. Owens isn't a bad person and never got in trouble off the field, but he might serve as a bad influence for a star like Julio. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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