First in receiving yards. First in targets. Fourth in receptions.
Sounds like one of the best wide receivers in the NFL — and it is. Julio Jones ranked in those spots in 2018, but it came at a price. And not a price that he’s too keen on.
At $14.3 million in average salary, Jones was the 11th-highest paid wideout in 2018, according to Spotrac. He falls to 12th among receivers in 2019 and still has two years left on his deal.
Still, Jones isn’t too worried about his contract status.
“[Falcons owner] Mr. [Arthur] Blank has spoken,” Jones said, via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “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.”
To stay ready, Jones is attending mandatory minicamp after sitting out OTAs, but isn’t fully participating. Jones sat out minicamp last year before the Falcons adjusted his deal and promised a contract extension for this offseason.
“I just take it easy. I’m not out here to rush things,” Jones said. “A lot of times guys get hurt coming back. You get MCL, ACL and Achilles, things like that. Especially when you come out here and you’re an explosive guy. I just want to take my time coming back into it. You just have to gradually get back into it.
“I’ll be good to go.”
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is on board with Jones’ offseason program — including not fully participating at minicamp and skipping OTAs.
“He’s been here some in the offseason as well at some other times,” Quinn said. “Again, he’s one of those that is close to returning to playing.
“He is the type of teammate that enjoys the mentorship piece of it, and he takes that responsibility seriously to help the group and others.”