As we find out every year around this time, sports fans have very strong feelings about players skipping things like voluntary workouts or glorified scrimmages. It is pretty common for top players to skip these things, especially when they have an established workout plan, an understanding of the scheme, and plenty of chemistry with other teammates. It is also pretty common for players to skip when they want a pay bump.
Julio Jones fits in both categories. He’s skipping voluntary OTAs after skipping voluntary workouts, which are honestly two things Jones has no need for. Just look at Washington’s Reuben Foster who tore his ACL, and perhaps has additional knee damage, during a “jog-through” practice.
After it was reported Jones was skipping OTAs, ESPN’s Vaughn McClure wrote that Jones said he would not be at voluntary OTAs last month.
Julio Jones told ESPN in April, “Mandatory stuff, I’ll be there,’’ so Jones not expected at voluntary OTAs this week and beyond. Next “mandatory’’ event is minicamp June 11-13.
Short of any changes since April, Jet Jones should land in Flowery Branch in a few weeks for minicamp. What is less clear is if Jones will have his contract extension by that time. McClure asked general manager if a deal will be done by then, and he was both “very confident” in negotiations but did not sound like they would reach an agreement by June 11.
Jones currently slots in at a reasonable $13.47 cap hit, and the team could free up additional cap space with an extension if desired. If the Falcons are hoping to land some veteran help like Gerald McCoy, getting a deal done with Julio would be a big help.