Today marked the first official day of 2018 Training Camp for the Atlanta Falcons, with both veterans and rookies required to report by the end of the day. Late Wednesday night, we received the news that Julio Jones and the Falcons had agreed to some sort of deal that secured his presence at camp and ended the holdout. Today, we received more clarification on the exact numbers behind that deal.
Outside of that however, Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff held a press conference to speak about the opening of training camp. There were plenty of noteworthy tidbits in their talk, and I’d encourage you to listen to the full conference if you’re interested. Perhaps most intriguing, however, were Quinn and Dimitroff’s comments about the negotiations between the team and Julio Jones’ representation.
Quinn, in particular, projected an air of complete confidence surrounding the deal. He stated that he had always “expected” Julio to be at training camp, regardless of the state of the negotiations. Dimitroff echoed this sentiment, and downplayed any bad blood between Atlanta and Jones. “[Negotiations] were not contentious at all,” Dimitroff said at one point in the conversation.
Both seemed comfortable with how the conflict played out, and neither seemed to echo any of the sentiments parroted by various reporters at times during the offseason. I’m particularly reminded of D. Orlando Ledbetter’s take earlier in the year, where he claimed that the relationship between Jones and the Falcons was “in a bad place”.
It seems like the “drama” of Julio’s holdout was, perhaps, a bit exaggerated by both team sources and reporters. That’s not entirely unusual—nor would it be unusual that the team is seeking to downplay any real drama that may have occurred—but the confidence with which Quinn and Dimitroff dispelled the rumors was pretty darn convincing. If that’s the case, it seems like both sides were genuinely hearing each other out, and there really is no long-term damage between Julio Jones and the Falcons.
Aside from the comments about the negotiations with Julio Jones, there were two other noteworthy comments.
- Dimitroff made it clear that Arthur Blank was not involved—outside of his usual consulting role—in the negotiations with Julio Jones. He did not interfere or take an active role.
- Dimitroff stated that the team was still very focused on completing extensions with key players this offseason, and that Julio’s adjusted contract would not affect those deals in any way. He didn’t name the players specifically, but was clearly referring to Jake Matthews, Grady Jarrett, and Ricardo Allen.
With this press conference out of the way, the next step is the first on-field workouts of Falcons’ training camp on Friday. Get excited, folks, because real football is right around the corner.
What are your thoughts on Quinn and Dimitroff’s comments? Do you think they’re telling the truth about the Falcons’ relationship with Julio? Anything in particular you’re looking forward to on the first day of on-field workouts?