Training camp getting closer by the day, and it’s been radio silence on the Julio Jones contract saga. Depending on your point of view, that’s either great news or lousy news.
There’s still ample time for the Falcons to get a deal done with Jones before the training camp horn sounds, and it’s possible that deal is already hammered out behind the scenes. Part of me wonders if it’s time we all strap in for the inevitable moment when the Jet doesn’t land on time.
There’s a real possibility right now that Jones is going to hold out at the first of training camp in order to put the pressure on the organization to get a deal done, and it might be the last bit of hardball Jones and his team need to play to extend the contract.
The Falcons probably aren’t going to blink if he shows up on time. Thomas Dimitroff has already hinted that he’s not big on the idea of bucking tradition with working on player extensions before the deal enters its last year, but he’s never dealt with a player of Julio’s pull before in a stalemate like this. Jones is undoubtedly the face of the franchise besides Matt Ryan, and he’s had his value for the team on and off the field to leverage ever since this dispute started.
The thought of Jones even missing one session could scare the team straight into getting this all worked out sometime within the next week or so, but part of you wonders if this staring contest is going to carry on over into the first day of camp. Jones has come too far to give up now, and he knows he can still miss training camp reps and strike fear into the heart of defenders. No July practice is going to change that.
If he does miss time, you’ll be warranted to fret a bit. His and Ryan’s connection on the long ball was a bit off last year, and Steve Sarkisian struggled a bit to get him the ball in the red zone. With Jones completely healthy, it’ll be important for him to get into rhythm with the rest of the offense in camp after missing minicamp in June. There’s plenty of time on the clock to get that all settled out before September, but if he holds out, it’s time ticking by to sand out the bumps. This season, none of us want bumps.
So let’s hope the next update we get is that inevitable, sweet Tweet from the team or a team beat reporter saying the deal is done, and let’s hope it gets here before July 26.