Don’t expect to see Julio Jones take the field until the regular season.
The Falcons wide receiver told reporters Tuesday: “I don’t need preseason to get ready.”
The holdout isn’t new for Jones — he didn’t play in any preseason games last year and appeared in just one the previous season.
Jones’ decision doesn’t seem to be indicative of his commitment to the team because preseason games hold no clout over a team’s standing in the regular season, and many starters either sit out or play limited snaps to avoid injury before the regular season.
julio jones: “I’m not playing preseason. I’m a veteran, I’ve been doing this. I don’t need preseason to get ready.” pic.twitter.com/csyE0DI9UU
— Alex Glaze (@Alex_Glaze) July 30, 2019
With Jones in the middle of contract negotiations with the team, it doesn’t appear that he will follow suit of other NFL stars by sitting out for the season.
Jones, 30, is set to be paid $9.6 million in 2019 and has two years remaining on the five-year, $71 million contract he signed in 2015. Both he and the Falcons have expressed optimism that a deal will be done before the season starts.
“Mr. Blank gave us his word,” Jones told TMZ Sports earlier this month. “That’s golden. … [Blank’s] word is that it’s going to get done. … There’s no stress on my end. I’m not thinking about it.
“[Blank] makes it easy for me to go out and just work every day and not have one of those situations where there’s a holdout or anything like that.”
General manager Thomas Dimitroff also praised Jones and said he was confident both sides would come out happy.
“We have the utmost faith that Julio is coming here and he’s taking care of his business while he’s here, and we’ll keep plugging away with Jimmy [Sexton, Jones’ agent],” Dimitroff told ESPN last week. “We have a very good working relationship and respect for Jimmy Sexton and CAA, and I’m confident [the deal] will get done.”