The Cleveland Browns reportedly added some linebacker help on Sunday night, trading with the Atlanta Falcons for Deion Jones.
The Browns will be sending late-round draft compensation to the Falcons, per NFL Network, but this deal is much more than that for Atlanta.
With a regime change, general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith inherited a few bad contracts that were weighing down their books, including the rest of Jones’ restructured deal that came before the start of the season.
The Falcons will have to carry a $12.14 million dead cap hit when the 2023 season comes around, but they are fine with that. Julio Jones and Matt Ryan were other big contracts that needed to get off the books as they look to rebuild this franchise back to the postseason contender it used to be.
The Browns will have to pay Jones just $1.39 million for the rest of the season, as well as $31,250 for each game he is active, per NFL Network. Jones is currently on the IR as he had offseason shoulder surgery that hasn’t allowed him to play yet this season.
A second-round pick by the Falcons in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jones made his mark with the Falcons, earning a Pro Bowl bid in 2017 after totaling 138 tackles, 10 for loss, with 10 passes defended and three interceptions in 16 games.
Just this past season, Jones had 137 tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble over his 16 games with Atlanta.
Jones is a fast, versatile linebacker that can play multiple positions at that second level.
For his career thus far, Jones has 652 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, 44 passes defended and 40 tackles for loss.
He will join a linebacking corps of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Jacob Phillips and Sione Takitaki for Cleveland, a formidable group. The Browns have playmakers all over this unit, with Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, Denzel Ward and more available.