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Falcons tell Jones there will be no new contract this year

Julio Jones won’t get a new contract as the Falcons are days before reporting to training camp.

Will the All-Pro wide receiver show up after he elected to stay away from all team activities this offseason? We’ll know on Wednesday.

The Falcons informed Jones they will not give him a desired raised, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed. The Falcons have not budgeted for a renegotiation this offseason and are focused on contract extensions for Grady Jarrett, Jake Matthews and Ricardo Allen. The news was first reported by The Athletic.

Jones was informed of the team’s decision several weeks ago, following the mandatory minicamp in June, the AJC has learned.

Jones was also told the team may be willing to rework his contract next year, one year before they typically work on extensions. Talks between the Falcons and Jones’ agent, Jimmy Sexton, are described as ongoing.

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The Falcons are hopeful Jones will report to training camp. The team must report to training camp by 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The first practice is Thursday.

Jones did not participate in voluntary Organized Team Activities and a mandatory three-day minicamp this summer after the market for wide receivers changed drastically in the offseason.

Jones signed a five-year, $71.2 million contract extension Aug. 31, 2015. The deal included $47 million in guaranteed money, with base salaries of $10.5 million (2018), $12.5 million (2019) and $11.4 million (2020). He’s set to be the seventh-highest paid wide receiver in the league, but has three years remaining on the deal. 

Jones is not happy with his contract as the market shifted over the offseason with deals signed by Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans (five year, $82.5 million), Cleveland’s Jarvis Landry (five year, $75-million) and Kansas City’s Sammy Watkins (three-year, $48 million). Now add the deal the Rams gave Brandin Cooks (five year, $80 million) this week.

The Falcons publicly stated they were optimistic a resolution would be made before training camp.

“We have been in contact with Julio and his representation,” Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement released in June following Jones’ decision not to attend the mandatory camp. “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.”

Sexton, who did not immediately return messages, responded at the time.

“I’m not going to comment publicly about the situation,” Sexton told the AJC. “I’m going to let them say whatever they want to say.” 

Jones has joined quarterback Matt Ryan and other receivers in California for a passing camp this week. Ryan said at the end of minicamp he believed Jones would take part in the camp, abbreviated and later in the year this summer due to the birth of Ryan’s twins. Jones was pictured with 10 others, including Ryan, in a post on first-round draft pick Calvin Ridley’s social media account.

The Falcons gave former wide receiver Roddy White a six-year, $50 million contract extension, with $18 million guaranteed, in 2009 after a six-day holdout. White had one year remaining on his contract before the new deal was reached. 

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