By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — One of the Atlanta Falcons most important playmakers will not attend their mandatory minicamp.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team was informed Monday that Julio Jones will not be present when the three-day minicamp opens on Tuesday.
Jones, under contract through 2020, apparently is seeking a new deal as he has fallen behind other top NFL receivers in average earnings.
“We have been in contact with Julio and his representation,” Dimitroff said in a statement released by the team.
“We will not discuss those conversations publicly except to say we feel they have been productive and constructive. We understand the concerns and thoughts from their perspective. Although not ideal, Julio informed us today he would not be attending minicamp.
“We have much respect for him and what he means to our team, our city and our fans.”
Jones’ absence is a big surprise. Before Monday, coach Dan Quinn and others had said they were confident Jones would attend the minicamp despite missing the voluntary offseason program.
Jones, 29, still has three seasons remaining on his five-year, $71.3 million deal with $47 million in guaranteed money. He is due to earn $10.5 million this season, $12.5 million in 2019 and $11.4 million in 2020.