The Atlanta Falcons find themselves in a contract stalemate with Julio Jones, with the star wide receiver skipping mandatory minicamp last week. Training camp is five weeks away, which is the next mandatory function for Jones. The team could find him for skipping minicamp, and the fines would continue if he skips any part of training camp.
Jones has spent his offseason doing a variety of workouts, and has been spotted working out with Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens. The Falcons apparently do not like this. Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter recently made a radio appearance, and he said the Falcons front office is “uneasy” with Jones’ workouts with TO.
“The fact that he’s running around with Terrell Owens has the front office uneasy. The fact that he held out and is kinda bucking the whole brotherhood thing has them a little bit uneasy too. They’ll have to men some fences, no question about it, once he returns.”
This suggests to me the Falcons are playing a little bit of hard ball for the time being. TO certainly has a reputation, but to throw this out there to arguably their most notable beat writer, along with the notion of “bucking the whole brotherhood thing,” suggests they are looking for an edge in the PR battle. They’re entitled to do that, but it will be interesting to see if it gets Jones into team activities any sooner. Pro Football Talk said he is expected to be at training camp, but I guess we’ll see if this turns into a war of words.
Speaking of TO and Jones, they were together in Southern California at the UCLA track. TO decided to run a 40-yard dash, with Jones and others clocking him at either 4.43 or 4.47. It doesn’t have much to do with the story (other than Jones being there), but a 44-year old man running a sub-4.5 is impressive.