Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is not overly concerned about his pending contract extension.
“What contract?” Jones quipped to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after minicamp practice Tuesday. “On my house? Stuff is getting high right now. Prices are going up.”
Then, he got serious.
“Nah, man, as far as the contract thing, (owner) Mr. (Arthur) Blank has spoken,” Jones said. “At the end of the day, his word is gold. He said they are going to get something done between them and my agency. As far as me, I just hold up my end and stay ready.”
“They are both great players, both Grady (Jarrett) and Julio,” Blank told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via phone in March from the NFL meetings in Phoenix. “They both will be Falcons for life. I feel pretty good, comfortable and confident in saying that.”
Last season, things got messy as Jones held out of the mandatory minicamp. A compromise was struck with an adjustment at the start of training camp. There was a promise that a contract extension would get done this offseason.
The Falcons and Jones’ agent, Jimmy Sexton, are still working on a deal while the wide receiver market continues to shift.
Jones is slated to be the 13th highest paid receiver in the league in 2019, according to NFL stats. Tampa Bay’s Michael Evans ($20 million) is set to be highest paid, while Jones is at $13.4 million.
Jones said his health is fine.
“Just maintenance,” said Jones, who’s essentially resting his feet. “I just take it easy. I’m not out here to rush things. A lot of times guys get hurt coming back. You get MCL, ACL and Achilles, things like that. Especially when you come out here and you’re an explosive guy. I just want to take my time coming back into it. You just have to gradually get back into it.”
Jones said he’s following the same offseason plan from 2018. He also plans to work out with Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens this offseason.
“I haven’t ran into that joker,” said Jones as he started laughing. “He’s been hitting me up. He hit me up on Sunday. He said let me know when you get back out here (California). I’ve got to get out there and we’ll do some stuff together, workout and things like that. He’s really good with those bends and then we’ll go to the track and do some stuff.”
While the contract is being worked out, Jones believes he’ll be ready for training camp.
“I’ll be good to go,” Jones said.
He doesn’t believe that he’s missing anything by not fully participating in the offseason program and the minicamp.
“No, absolutely not,” Jones said. “I’m a veteran. This is what I do. I’ll be ready to go. This is football.”
Jones played three seasons for new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter in 2012 through 2014. Jones was targeted 128 times in 2012, he was hurt in 2013 and was targeted 163 times in 2014.
“I love everything that Dirk stands for as an offensive coordinator,” Jones said. “I know he’s going to be aggressive. We are going to be explosive.”
In 2012, the Falcons went to the NFC Championship game. When the rebuilt offensive line collapsed, the Falcons were not productive in 2013 and 2014.
“We were scoring a lot with Dirk,” Jones said. “He simplifies everything. He doesn’t make it hard, especially when you’ve got young guys coming in. It helps the veteran guys, too. Just simplify it and let us go out there and go to work.”
Jones has attended some of the offseason workouts.
“I watched film on him,” Jones said of Calvin Ridley. “He’s been doing a great job. When the games come around, he’s has to be doing the same thing. He’s doing good.”
He’s been watching the other receivers, too.
“(Christian) Blake has been looking good for us,” Jones said. “I’ve been watching film on him. (Mohamed) Sanu has been doing his thing. A lot of guys have been good. The biggest thing is just staying healthy.”
Falcons coach Dan Quinn is fine with Jones not fully participating.
“He’s been here some in the offseason as well at some other times,” Quinn said. “Again, he’s one of those that is close to returning to playing.”
Quinn is fine with Jones being ready for training camp.
“He is the type of teammate that enjoys the mentorship piece of it, and he takes that responsibility seriously to help the group and others,” Quinn said.
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