The Offseason Odyssey of Quintorris Lopez Jones has entered another chapter as the Falcons’ superstar wide receiver will reportedly not be present at the start of training camp. The Atlanta fan base has been starkly divided about the siren song of Terrell Owens and Julio’s desire for a new contract, but the prevailing belief was that he would show up to camp regardless of the status of his negotiations with Atlanta’s top brass.
Well, that’s not to be — because Julio Jones will not report to training camp. Per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the team is aware that Julio will not be in attendance:
Julio Jones does not plan to report to Falcons on schedule Thursday without an adjustment to his contract, which has three years remaining, per league sources. He is set to make $10.5 million in 2018. The team is aware of his mindset at this time.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) July 24, 2018
On the heels of Brandin Cooks’ five-year, $80 million extension that vaults him into the ranks of the highest-paid wide receivers in the league, the stalemate between the Falcons’ front office and Julio Jones’ drags on. Jones did show up to Matt Ryan’s Brotherhood Camp in California, which was an encouraging sign for his attendance this week. Alas, his business beef is not with Ryan and his teammates, but with the Falcons. As such, his absence from official team activities will continue.
With the Falcons holding firm and refusing to address Julio’s contract dispute prior to the 2018 season, it’s unclear what the end result here is. Unless Julio is fully prepared to miss regular season games — which is highly, highly unlikely — he does not appear to have much recourse. Holding out of camp was the main leverage card he could play, and the front office countered it by simply drawing a line in the sand and punting contract talks to next offseason. With that context in mind, Julio deciding to avoid training camp comes as somewhat of a surprise.
Simply: What’s the endgame? Only Julio Jones knows the answer to that one.
There’s still a possibility that something gets done satisfy Jones and essentially kick the can down the road until next year, but as of this moment, the Falcons and Julio Jones are locked into a staring contest over his contract. We’ll see who blinks first.