Julio Jones’ standoff with the Atlanta Falcons will end Thursday, according to general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
FILE PHOTO: Oct 25, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) gives his glove to a fan as he walks off the field after his team defeated the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Atlanta won 10-7. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters
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Dimitroff announced late Wednesday night that the wide receiver will report to training camp Thursday, ending a holdout over his contract.
Jones has been away from the team during the offseason, which began with him causing consternation in Atlanta by deleting references to the team on his social media accounts.
“We have had continued dialog all offseason with Julio and his representation,” Dimitroff said in a statement. “We have come to an agreement with Julio, and we will re-address everything in 2019. I appreciate everyone’s hard work and communication on this.
“This adjustment does not impede us from working on other extensions with other key members of our football team. We will continue to work on those contracts going forward.”
Jones, 29, is owed $10.5 million in 2018 as part of the contract he signed in 2015 — a five-year, $71.3 million deal — that included a $12 million signing bonus and $47 million guaranteed. His base salaries are $12.5 million (2019) and $11.4 million (2020) in the final two years of the deal.
The Falcons have indicated they are willing to discuss another extension with Jones after the 2018 season, according to a report from ESPN.
Recently signed contracts for wide receivers have bumped the market ahead of Jones’ average annual value. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made Mike Evans the highest-paid receiver in the NFL at $82.5 million over five years, but there are several others ahead of Jones in AAV, including Sammy Watkins with the Kansas City Chiefs, Brandin Cooks with the Los Angeles Rams and Jarvis Landry with the Cleveland Browns.
Cooks and Landry were acquired via trade, and Watkins signed as a free agent this offseason.
Jones, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro, has 585 receptions for 9,054 yards and 43 touchdowns during his seven NFL seasons. He is coming off a 2017 season in which he caught 88 passes for 1,444 yards, but only three touchdowns.
—Field Level Media