“We have been in contact with Julio and his representation. We will not discuss those conversations publicly except to say we feel they have been productive and constructive,” Dimitroff said in the statement. “We understand the concerns and thoughts from their perspective. Although not ideal, Julio informed us today he would not be attending mini-camp.
“We have much respect for him and what he means to our team, our city and our fans.”
The Pro Bowl wide receiver is said to be eager for a new contract, and there have been whispers about him wanting to be the highest-paid receiver in the league, although there have been no contract issues acknowledged by his camp or the team.
Jones signed a five-year, $71.25 million extension ($47 million guaranteed) in August 2015 and still has three years and $34.43 million left on the deal. His average from the deal — $14.25 million — falls below the averages for Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown ($17 million per year), Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans ($16.5 million), Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins ($16.2 million), Kansas City’s Sammy Watkins ($16 million) and Cincinnati’s A.J. Green ($15 million).
Falcons coach Dan Quinn had said he expected Jones to be present for the three-day mandatory minicamp Tuesday through Thursday. Players who skip mandatory minicamp are subject to maximum fines of $14,070 the first day, $28,140 the second day, and $42,215 the third day.
Team owner Arthur Blank recently told 11 Alive News in Atlanta that he expected Jones to be a Falcon forever, without getting into the specifics of the contract situation.
Jones had 88 receptions for 1,444 yards and three touchdowns last season.
ESPN’s Vaughn McClure contributed to this report.