Arthur Smith non-committal on whether he expects Julio Jones at mandatory minicamp

It’s June 2, so the expectation is the Falcons will trade star receiver Julio Jones soon. Will it come before next week when the Falcons hold their mandatory minicamp?

Falcons coach Arthur Smith was non-committal when asked whether he had talked to Jones and whether he expected the receiver to attend next week’s practices.

“We have conversations all the time with all of our players,” Smith said. “We have good communications going back and forth (through) multiple avenues. We’ll see what happens next week with where we are at. I can answer that for you next week.”

Smith said he does expect to see outside linebacker Dante Fowler next week. Jones, though, appears headed elsewhere, so it would come as a surprise if he attended, whether he remains on the roster or not.

The Seahawks have become the new betting favorite to land Jones. Jones already has expressed his belief that he will play elsewhere in 2021. The only question is: Where?

Smith was asked Wednesday if it’s frustrating to continue answering questions about Jones.

“No. It is part of the job,” Smith said, via Mike Giardi of NFL Media.

Jones, 32, is guaranteed a $15.3 million salary this season. He played only nine games last season, making 51 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns.

But he is a seven-time Pro Bowler and twice has made All-Pro. Jones has 848 catches for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns in his 10 seasons.