Falcons players say “business as usual” despite Julio Jones absence

Josh Alper
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The Falcons opened minicamp without wide receiver Julio Jones in attendance on Tuesday, which wasn’t a huge surprise given his absence from voluntary work and talk about dissatisfaction with his contract.

It also wasn’t anything that upset the apple cart for the players who were there for the first day of mandatory work this offseason. Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu said players were “just practicing like we are any other day” and center Alex Mack called it “business as usual.” Mack also echoed several teammates’ belief that Jones will be ready to go when the time comes.

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“Someone’s contract or what he wants over there, is kind of outside of our control,” Mack said, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “He’s a great teammate. He’s a great guy. He works hard every day. I’m sure he’s going to ready to go whenever he shows up.”

Coach Dan Quinn said he’s never disappointed in a player’s choices as long as there’s communication and that he’s spoken to Jones over the course of the offseason. Quinn was also asked about Jones working out with Terrell Owens, which has led some to wonder if Owens is in his ear about taking a hard line with three years left on his current contract.

The coach didn’t offer any comment on that aspect, but did call the two wideouts two of the “hardest working athletes that I’ve seen.” It just remains to be seen when Quinn will get his next close look at Jones’ work.

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