The Atlanta Falcons aren’t worried about facing Terrell Owens on the field next season, but his relationship with Julio Jones does concern the team.
Terrell Owens is still doing his best to make a miraculous NFL comeback, but the Falcons aren’t worried about him beating their defensive backs. Instead, Thomas Dimitroff and the rest of Atlanta’s front office are concerned Owens can beat them at the negotiating table.
Specifically, his growing relationship with wide receiver Julio Jones is starting to make team officials “uneasy.” That’s easy to understand. Jones has skipped all voluntary team activities this summer in an effort to force the team to give him a new contract. He’s expected to be a full participant once training camp begins, but it’s fair for Falcons fans to be uneasy about that possibility at this point.
Instead of working out with the team, Jones has spent a lot of time working out with Owens this summer. That isn’t a negative development from a football perspective. Say what you want about T.O’s career, but he’s always been fanatical about staying in excellent shape. The truth is he can help Jones in that regard.
It’s the emotional side of things where Owens can negatively impact Jones. His list of unpredictable antics and conflict with teams and teammates is a mile long. To date, Jones has gone about his business in the NFL in a very unassuming manner. The Falcons would prefer their star wideout keep it that way.
Of course, the Falcons have it fully within their power to drive a wedge between Owens and Jones. All they need to do is reach a new agreement with their franchise wide receiver. Once that occurs, Jones will theoretically be happy to return to the team for workouts, preseason and any other functions required under the collective bargaining agreement. That would leave him precious little time to hang out with T.O in social settings or offseason workouts.
No matter how Owens factors into the situation, it’s time for the Falcons to work things out with Julio Jones. He’s simply too important to Matt Ryan and the team’s offensive success to risk any further conflict. Dimitroff and company need to stop wasting time and get a deal done.