The question has been floating around for the past few weeks—will Julio Jones’ contract be resolved in time for him to show up to off-season practices? According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, the answer is yes.
Rapaport reported that Julio Jones has shown up to the Falcons facility and will participate in minicamp. Players are taking physicals today before on-field workouts begin Tuesday.
Although nothing is resolved, it is a good sign that Jones is still participating in minicamp. There is no chance the Falcons let this drag on much longer. The team needs Jones—he is one of their greatest assets. Having him back practicing with the team will benefit everyone, but especially the rookies. The youngest members of the Dirty Birds need reps—what they also need is an older, more experienced player to challenge them.
While Jones is a great player on his own (obviously) it is important that he is there for the dynamic of the entire team. Since he is such a powerful force for the Falcons, not having him around for team practices leaves a gap within the team. Given the season the Falcons had last year, they want to go into the 2019 season like a well-oiled machine. This means absolutely ZERO kinks or problems, that includes not having a contract negotiation that lasts until the middle of the summer.
Even though it is early June, time is ticking. The organization needs Jones getting ready for the season ahead—a season that will hopefully put the Falcons back on top.