FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who rejoined the team Tuesday as an observer for mandatory minicamp, expressed no concern about his lingering contract situation.
Jones has two years and almost $21 million remaining on his deal, but the Falcons’ brass vowed to reward the six-time Pro Bowler with a new contract this year. Jones had been away from the team most of the offseason, training on his own and rehabbing from having a bunion removed from his foot.
He hasn’t lashed out about publicly about his contract negotiations.
“That’s not me,” Jones told ESPN following Tuesday’s minicamp practice. “I know what I bring to the table. I know who I am. I know what I’ve got going on. It’s not like … I’m not going around and trying to make somebody believe in me or who I am or what I’ve got going on.
“The situation will get handled. It’s just a matter of time when they’re going to do it. Mr. Blank has spoken, so what more do I need to say or talk about?”
Arthur Blank, the team owner, has made clear the franchise’s intentions to reward Jones with a new deal. The Falcons also hope to sign franchised defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and middle linebacker Deion Jones to extensions.
“We have a salary cap, we have limits, that we have to think about not only today but tomorrow, and we have to balance all that off,” Blank told ESPN last week. “But these are three great young men that we care deeply about, both personally and professionally. They are going to be Falcons for life.
“I’m not worried about getting the deals done. I’m speaking on behalf of Atlanta and Atlanta fans. [GM] Thomas [Dimitroff] is working hard to get them done. Coach [Dan] Quinn is supportive as well. It will happen. It’s just a matter of when.”
Jones won’t participate in the three-day minicamp but vowed to be ready for training camp, possibly with a new contract in hand as perhaps the league’s highest-paid receiver. He spent Tuesday’s practice working with some of the younger wide receivers on technique, acting as another coach on the field.
Jones, who turned 30 in February, is on the verge of surpassing new Falcons Ring of Honor member Roddy White as the franchise’s all-time leading receiver. Jones has 10,731 yards, right behind White’s 10,863. Jones enters 2019 with five consecutive seasons of 80-plus catches and 1,400-plus receiving yards.
“On my end, it’s just staying ready, doing all the things I can do to be who I am for this year coming up,” Jones said.