Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones caught some negative attention this summer when he did not show up for OTAs. As the countdown continues to the 2018 season, one reporter says Jones will have to patch things up with his team.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer D. Orlando Ledbetter was on Charlotte’s ESPN 730AM The Game and offered his take on Jones’ situation with the Falcons. While Ledbetter said he believes a reworked contract for Jones will ultimately come to pass, he made it clear Jones’ actions have affected his relationship with the team.
“It’s in a bad place right now,” Ledbetter said. “Coach [Dan Quinn] was expecting him in here. He told us that at the owners meeting when I talked to him down there in Orlando, and then, a few weeks later, Julio informed that he’s not going to be here … They’ll have to mend some fences, no question about it, once he returns.”
Ledbetter also said Jones spending time with former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens “has the front office uneasy.”
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Jones "wants some sort or correction to his contract," which Rapoport said the Falcons are willing to consider. Jones is set to make $10.5 million in the 2018 season, but offseason deals for the likes of Kansas City Chiefs receiver Sammy Watkins (three years, $48 million) and Chicago Bears receiver Allen Robinson (three years, $42 million) has Jones asking for a change to his deal.
Ledbetter said Falcons personnel are irked after Jones stepped out of line from the team’s brotherhood mantra. As Ledbetter pointed out, an individual player’s contract status often calls for such action.
“They talk about being a brotherhood and one for all and all that stuff, but when it comes to money and contracts, the players have to go out and fight for that,” Ledbetter said.