The big new of the day, of course, is the Julio Jones holdout, and now, a big voice in the Falcons organization has offered his take.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has caught up with team owner Arthur Blank, who had this to say about Jones’ impending holdout.
D-Led reports that Blank won’t get involved just yet in the negotiations.
“That’s their job and it’s my job to support them,” Blank said when reached on his cell phone in New York on Tuesday. “If they need help, they’ll ask for it. I’m always available to them and they know it.”
Blank reiterated his sentiment about where he exactly wants Jones as his career progresses.
“He’s going to be a Falcon for life,” Blank said. “I’m convinced of that and so is he. We’ll take it from there. But we are all focused on the same thing. I think that we are in good shape.”
So, it appears as if Blank is going to stick to the script on this, which is all any of us can ask from the team at this point.
Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn have a plan in place to navigate the next few seasons, so it’s fair to sympathize with this unexpected hurdle as they try to get everyone paid and keep this stellar roster together as deals expire. To be very fair to them, Julio wanting a reworked deal doesn’t make that any easier. But, it’s what’s best for Jones, so you work to get through that and do right by your franchise star.
This doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon. Jones has driven in his heels, as have the Falcons. Blank is known as a steady presence in any situation, so you know that if this really was getting too far out of hand, he’d jump in and steer the ship home.
Blank’s always been good for that kind of mediation, and it’s quite encouraging to know he’s waiting in the wings to settle things if they really do begin to get tense between Jones and the organization. Really, the fact that he’s not quite as involved as he could be at this point could be a sign that things might not be quite as hot as feared between the two parties.
So, we’ll continue to watch and wait for the start of camp. It’ll be interesting to see what Quinn has to say, and if Dimitroff will take questions at this stage of the season. It’s their call as to getting this contract done now, just as it’s Jones’ call if he’ll show up or not. We’ll have to see how this egg cracks, though it’s reassuring to know Blank’s got a knack for settling things like this if that’s what it came to.