Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones will be playing out his fifth-year option in 2015. This means he is in need of a long-term contract to take him beyond this season. However, Jones isn’t stooping to holding out from team activities, like some other top names around the NFL.
Jones’ take regarding his contract status is refreshing, as reported by ESPN’s Vaughn McClure:
“I’m not going to hold out for anything.” My teammates need me. I’m being selfish if I’m not here and doing what I need to do.”
While Jones obviously wants a new deal, he’s not prepared to leave his team high and dry to get one.
Jones, who plans to participate in the Falcons training camp later this summer, was in attendance at the team’s mandatory minicamp this week. Unlike Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who is missing out on learning his team’s new offensive scheme, Jones wants to be present to learn his system under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
Jones’ positive team-player attitude is also completely opposite of the one Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant is testing out. Bryant is skipping practices and is currently tossing around the possibility that he may not play in the Cowboys season opener.
Jones stresses that he is not concerned about getting a deal done:
“Whatever they feel like I’m deserving of, I’m just here. I’m just trying to be the best teammate. I’m just trying to play. My thing is to play ball. (Agent) Jimmy Sexton, he’s going to negotiate that with (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) and (Falcons owner) Mr. (Arthur) Blank. That’s the side they handle. My side, I’ve got to handle on the football field. I’ve got to keep showing up every day and putting in work.”
Perhaps if Bryant and Thomas catch wind of Jones’ dedicated attitude, which paints them in a bad light, they will think about how important it is to be practicing with their teams.
While Jones remains patient now, he could be facing the exact situation that pair mentioned above are experiencing. If Jones and the team do not come to an agreement by next spring, the team could choose to place the franchise tag on him.
If so, we will see then whether the team is his top priority.
Photo: USA Today Sports