FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons have exercised the fifth-year option on wide receiver Julio Jones today.
Falcons coach Mike Smith said last Tuesday, the team planned to have Jones around for a long time. The option will allow the team to start working on a long-term deal in the future..
The Pro Bowl wide receiver, who is recovering from foot surgery, is still working with the training staff.
“Again, I’m not going to talk about specific contractual situations,” Smith said. “I do know this, Julio Jones is going to be an Atlanta Falcons for a long, long time.”
The team elected to announce to move on its twitter account.
Smith said the Falcons expect to have Jones back for the beginning of the regular season.
“Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,” Smith said. “With (trainer) Marty Lauzon and his group. He will be able to get out on the field and do some walkthrough stuff with us when we start going.
“Our focus with Julio is one thing and that’s having him prepared for our opener, which I’m sure we’ll get the date in the next couple of days. I believe the schedule will be coming out in the next couple of days. But that’s what our focus is.
“He’s progressing well. We’re not going to do anything to hinder his time-frame in terms of getting back to work with us.”
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