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SportJulio Jones absent at Falcons voluntary OTAs as contract extension looms

06:35  21 may  2019
06:35  21 may  2019 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

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The Atlanta Falcons began voluntary organized team activities on Monday with one notable absence — wide receiver Julio Jones . The six-time Pro Bowler — who is in the midst of negotiating a contract extension — did not report to the start of OTAs , the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The Atlanta Falcons began voluntary organized team activities on Monday with one notable absence — wide receiver Julio Jones . The six-time Pro Bowler — who is in the midst of negotiating a contract extension — did not report to the start of OTAs , the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Julio Jones absent at Falcons voluntary OTAs as contract extension looms© Provided by Oath Inc. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones looks on during a practice. (AP) The Atlanta Falcons began voluntary organized team activities on Monday with one notable absence — wide receiver Julio Jones.

The six-time Pro Bowler — who is in the midst of negotiating a contract extension — did not report to the start of OTAs, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Jones skipped OTAs and mandatory minicamp last season as he sought a renegotiated deal. He eventually reported to training camp after working out an undisclosed contract adjustment with a promise to discuss a renegotiated deal this year.

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Julio Jones absent at Falcons voluntary OTAs as contract extension looms .

The contract extension ties Jones to the Falcons through the 2023 season. After leading the league in receiving yards for the second time in his career in 2018 The Falcons kick off their 2019 season on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings with Jones needing two catches to become the second-fastest

Those talks are still pending.

Falcons ‘very encouraged’ with talks

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told The Athletic earlier in May that he’s “very encouraged” about contract talks with Jones’ agent Jimmy Sexton.

“Both parties are in a good place,” Dimitroff said. “There’s no timeline but I’m not worried. Julio will be around while we’re working on it.”

Jones missing OTAs not a big surprise

Jones was not around for Monday’s OTAs, but that shouldn’t signal any red flags as they are designated as voluntary.

Jones hinted to ESPN in April that he might miss OTAs to do his own training, but that he planned to be at mandatory practices.

"I'm just working on me right now," Jones told ESPN. "I've got a great relationship with the organization. I'm just working on me. That's it. It's no set time where I need to be in-house. Mandatory stuff, I'll be there. As long as I'm training, they understand it."

Freddie Kitchens: Odell Beckham missing ‘a lot – the offense’ at OTAs

Freddie Kitchens: Odell Beckham missing ‘a lot – the offense’ at OTAs Freddie Kitchens: Odell Beckham missing 'a lot - the offense' at OTAs

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones said “there’s no pressure” in his contract negotiations with the NFL team. Jones ' current contract calls for a base salary of .6 million in 2019 and .426 million in 2020. Jones has led the NFC in receiving yardage in each of the past five seasons.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones watches during minicamp on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Flowery Branch, Ga. The Falcons signed Jones to a five-year contract extension worth ,256,045 in 2015, and he isn't scheduled to become a free agent for two more seasons.

He also told ESPN that his desire for a new deal didn’t necessarily entail a demand to be the league’s highest-paid wide receiver.

"Me, personally, I don't really care about as far as being the highest-paid receiver, man," Jones said. "It's a number.”

New ceiling for WR market

The top end of the wide receiver market has been reset with recent deals for Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr.

Brown signed a three-year, $50.1 million deal with the Oakland Raiders after being traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Beckham signed a five-year, $90 million deal with the New York Giants before being traded to the Cleveland Browns.

Jones has two years and $21 million remaining on a five-year, $71.3 million deal he signed in 2015. With Beckham making $18 million a year, he’s in line for a substantial raise if the two sides reach a deal.

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    Julio Jones will be at training camp after all. The Falcons and the wideout have agreed on a "We have had continued dialogue all offseason with Julio and his representation," Dimitroff's statement "This adjustment does not impede us from working on other extensions with other key members of

    Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) warms up before the season home-opener football game on September 17, 2017 at Mercedes-Benz The 29-year-old Jones is set to make .5 million in 2018 in the third season of a five-year, .25 million contract extension he signed in 2015.

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