The Falcons may have had plans to trade Deion Jones with a post-June 1 designation, but reports from Arthur Smith have clouded that possibility. According to Josh Kendall, the Falcons head coach told media members that Jones had shoulder surgery which will ultimately cost him all of Atlanta’s offseason workouts.
Jones won’t be here for any of the offseason program after a shoulder procedure. https://t.co/W3vHNEoaig
— Josh Kendall (@JoshTheAthletic) May 26, 2022
Despite putting up decent numbers, Jones is coming off his worst NFL season. He led the team with eight tackles for loss, was second with 137 tackles, and tied for second with 2.0 sacks. However, by every other metric, including the eye test, the former LSU Tiger looked like a shell of himself.
The decline in play has prompted many to speculate about his future in Atlanta; after all, Terry Fontenot has cleaned house of nearly every bloated, overpaid contract inherited from the old regime. Jones’ $20 million cap hit is the highest on the team for 2022, but the injury certainly complicates any prospect of Atlanta trading him.
The Falcons would have to find a suitor to take on his $13.64 million guaranteed salary for 2022, which has become increasingly difficult given his injury status. It would be a longshot for a team to take on that massive contract for a player who might not even be healthy for Week 1. Obviously, that is speculation, and the only tangible reports we can go off are that he’ll at least miss the offseason program.
Cutting him will only save the team a little over $1 million, which wouldn’t justify the move. It’s becoming increasingly likely that Jones will suit up for the Falcons in 2022. Hopefully, the shoulder injury is what plagued him during the season, and the procedure will set things straight because one would think it’s only up from here for Jones.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire