The Atlanta Falcons have said going back to 2018 that they wanted to get a new deal in place for wide receiver Julio Jones and the time they had in mind is running out.
Of course, Atlanta Falcons fans are becoming increasingly worried about why a deal has not been completed yet. Both sides agreed more than a year ago that a new deal would get done before the start of the 2019 regular season.
Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn have all talked at length about a deal being in place before the start of the regular season.
That guarantee could prove to be a fatal flaw for the Falcons. The organization should never have put a specific time frame in place, this should have been a fluid negotiation, not one with a deadline. Deadlines for contract negotiations rarely go well.
What the Falcons brass should have done was told Julio Jones and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, we believe that Julio should be the highest-paid receiver in the league and we will do what we can to make that happen, but not put the time frame for the deal to get done.
Because they did not do that, it is becoming a distraction. While Atlanta media is not New York or Boston, they do know how to ask the same question a dozen different ways. They do know how to fabricate a story where there is not one. Today was an example of that.
Julio was asked whether he would play Sunday if a contract was not in place. The answer he gave was ambiguous at best, of course, media kept asking until he gave a firm answer, that still was less than full yes.
With the season less than four days away, we now have no idea whether one of the most important pieces for the Atlanta Falcons will suit up Sunday in Minnesota and it is all because a firm date for a new contract was given by the team, not the player.