Your daily "The Atlanta Falcons aren't fretting about Julio Jones" headline comes from Dan Quinn on this Friday.
The head coach said at the close of Falcons minicamp that the team has been in conversations with the receiver, who skipped spring workouts in hopes of getting a new deal.
"The good news is that there are conversations that have begun," Quinn said Thursday, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We'll keep those private. I have a lot of faith in the organization and also in Julio that things will get resolved with good communications. I'm sure that'll be a part of it as well."
We're left to assume those "conversations" were about quelling Jones' contract concerns, not about where LeBron James will sign this summer.
Everyone we've heard from this week -- Matt Ryan, other teammates, and now the coach -- dismissed Jones skipping mandatory minicamp as a big deal. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a long-term issue. Until we hear from Julio, however, it's all just white noise.
Jones has seen his five-year, $71.25 million contract extension -- $14.25 million per year average -- passed over seven times over. He now sits as the eighth-highest paid receiver in the NFL, behind Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Jarvis Landry, A.J. Green and Davante Adams in per year average.
On the one hand, Jones should have expected when he signed a deal through the 2020 season other receivers would eventually pass him in earnings. On the other hand, with a finite number of years to play professional football Jones owns the right to seek out as many paydays a team is willing to oblige.
Jones' situation -- trying to get a new deal with three years left on his current contraction -- could be instructive to other superstar players. Might we see playmakers take shorter extensions in the future to get more potential bites at the free-agent apple? Kirk Cousins inking only a three-year deal could be instructive, especially with modern medicine curtailing most of the career-threatening injuries.
It's a positive sign that Quinn is confident a solution with Jones can be agreed to before training camp in late July. If the situation lingers into August, the nonchalance in Atlanta could turn into handwringing.