Six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones attended an Atlanta Falcons’ offseason practice for the first time since 2017 on Tuesday. But he didn’t practice.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn had said on Monday the former Alabama All-American would be at Atlanta’s mandatory minicamp this week after missing the voluntary OTA practices, but he wouldn’t participate actively while rehabbing a foot injury.
Last year, Jones didn't attend any of the Falcons' offseason program, including the mandatory portion. Jones reported to training camp on time after Atlanta boosted his 2018 pay by $2.9 million and pledged to get a new deal done this offseason.
While that new contract hasn’t appeared yet, Jones said he was not concerned, particularly after Atlanta owner Arthur Blank said in April that the wide receiver would be a Falcon “for life.”
“Mr. Blank has spoken,” Jones said on Tuesday. “At the end of the day, his word is gold. He said they are going to get something done between them and my agency. As far as me, I just hold up my end and stay ready.”
The Falcons signed Jones to a five-year contract extension worth $71,256,045 in 2015, and he isn't scheduled to become a free agent for two more seasons.
At the time of the signing, only Calvin Johnson’s seven-year, $113,450,000 contract extension signed in 2012 was a more lucrative deal for a wide receiver. That’s not true now. Six active wide receivers have contracts with more total value than Jones’ deal.
The former Foley High School star’s current contract calls for a base salary of $9.6 million in 2019, which ranks 15th among NFL wide receivers.