WR Jones not worried about contract situation


DULUTH, Ga. — Atlanta Falcons six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones is not overly concerned about his contract situation, and he’s not publicly lobbying to become the league’s highest-paid player at his position.

Asked by ESPN where contract talks stand between him and the team, Jones responded, “I don’t know. My agent [Jimmy Sexton] is in the process of them talking about it. It hasn’t came to me. I’m good. I’m comfortable with how everybody’s doing it. There’s no pressure on my end and none on their end. If they’re going to get it done, we’ll get it done.”

Jones has two years and $21.026 million remaining on the five-year, $71.25 million contract extension he signed in August 2015. That extension included $47 million guaranteed. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff vowed to revisit Jones’ contract this offseason after the team adjusted Jones’ deal before last season. The adjustment, which did not involve any new money, allowed Jones to collect an extra $2.9 million in 2018.

Jones’ current average of $14.25 million per year is 11th among all receivers. Cleveland’s Odell Beckham Jr. tops the list at $18 million per year ($65 million guaranteed). It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Jones reach $20 million per year in an extension.

“Me, personally, I don’t really care about as far as being the highest-paid receiver, man,” Jones said. “It’s a number. We’ve got some other guys on the team. If we can do it in a way to get all the other guys to stay on the team … it’s a lot of ways you can do money.”

The Falcons have prioritized contract extensions for defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, who was franchised, and middle linebacker Deion Jones.

Team owner Arthur Blank said the team plans to treat Jones with the type of respect he has earned regarding a new contract. Jones enters 2019 with five straight seasons of 80-plus catches and 1,400-plus receiving yards. He is 133 receiving yards away from surpassing Roddy White as the Falcons’ all-time leading receiver.

“For us, he’s a model player, a model leader, and someone we want to have connected to our franchise for as long as he can play football,” Blank told ESPN.

Jones hinted at being away from the team again this year during the voluntary offseason program, which includes organized team activities. The Falcons are scheduled to start the offseason program April 15. Organized team activities begin May 20.

“I’m just working on me right now,” Jones said. “I’ve got a great relationship with the organization. I’m just working on me. That’s it. It’s no set time where I need to be in-house. Mandatory stuff, I’ll be there. As long as I’m training, they understand it.”

Mandatory minicamp, which Jones skipped last season, is scheduled for June 11-13.

Source : ESPN