Atlanta Falcons’ Deion Jones to miss offseason practice schedule

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones will miss the team’s practice schedule after undergoing surgery to repair a shoulder injury, coach Arthur Smith told reporters in Georgia on Thursday.

Jones, 27, has been a constant in the middle of the Falcons’ defense since being knocked out in the second round of the 2016 draft by LSU. He started all but two of the 85 games he played in Atlanta, intercepting 11 passes, having 8.5 sacks and scoring five defensive touchdowns.

His role, however, has been questioned lately. Last season, with a new defense under coordinator Dean Pees, Jones switched to linebacker after Foye Oluokun emerged in the middle of the Atlanta defense.

With Oluokun now in Jacksonville, it was unclear how Jones would be used this season — if he even stayed in Atlanta at all for 2022.

Jones, a 2017 Pro Bowl selection, capped more than $20 million for 2022, and $9.64 million of his base salary plus a $4 million bonus has been fully guaranteed. , according to ESPN’s roster management system. If the Falcons moved away from him after June 1, they would save $1,067,059 in cap space, but would suffer another big death blow — which could vary depending on whether he was traded or released or not.

Atlanta, of course, could choose to keep Jones on the roster as well. The Falcons signed linebackers Rashaan Evans and Nick Kwiatkoski in the offseason and drafted inside linebacker Troy Andersen out of Montana State in the second round. They also have Mykal Walker, who was the team’s third inside linebacker last season, back.

The Falcons are winding down their slate of big deals. Atlanta already has more than $63 million in committed dead money for 2022, including more than $40 million for quarterback Matt Ryan (traded to Indianapolis), $15.5 million for Julio Jones (traded to Tennessee last year) and $4.66 million for edge rusher Dante Fowler, who was cut earlier this offseason.

Comments are closed.