Image Credit: (Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
I was about ready to go to sleep after a long and fun day watching football games.As I was about to go asleep I got a notification on my phone and saw that there was a trade. First I find it a bit strange that this trade was revealed at around 10:00 PM EST. Second, this trade came out of nowhere, but it was not a shock at all when revealed. Third, this trade involves one of the last parts of the Falcons Superbowl team, you know the one where they blew a 28-3 lead and cursed the franchise. The player that has been traded is LB Deion Jones. The details of the trade is shown down below.
Atlanta Falcons Acquire: 2024 6th Round Pick
Cleveland Browns Acquire: LB Deion Jones and 2024 7th Round Pick
Atlanta Falcons Side
Atlanta may have performed decently so far this season with a record of 2-3. However the true goal is in the future and this is a season to figure out who belongs along with who does not. Deion Jones has been a fantastic player for the Falcons, but it was time to part ways with him. Not only because Jones was turning 28 years old in November, but the Falcons want to get rid of one last bad contract on the team. So why not clear cap space and upgrade a draft pick's value from a 7th round pick to a 6th round pick. Plus there were rumors that the Falcons were planning to part ways with Jones and it is good that they got something then losing him for nothing. If this trade did not happen, then it was likely that the Falcons were going to cut ties with Jones.
Cleveland Browns Side
Well, this was very unexpected for two reasons. First, Deion Jones is currently on injured reserve due to a shoulder injury. How was this deal even able to get approved, but I am guessing that Jones is ready to go and be activated from IR. Second, I thought it was going to be very challenging for this deal to get done with all the dead cap on Jones’s contract. But both parties got the deal done and Jones was sent to Cleveland.
Speaking of which, here are my concerns with the Browns getting Jones. Jones has been dealing with a shoulder issue and it has been an issue for quite a few months where he was on the PUP list. He was expected to be ready to go, but it is not a good sign when Jones is immediately placed on IR a few days after being activated. Another concern is if they will be able to afford his contract when Watson’s contract kicks in. Jones currently has a cap hit of 13.2 million in 2022 and 20.1 Million dollars next year. So this will likely be a one year rental if the Browns want to swallow his dead cap for next year.
However, let's be real, the Browns desperately needed linebacker help. When Anthony Walker went down with a Torn Quad week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the linebacker core was not the same. Deion Jones when healthy can easily help fix this issue on defense. I mean I don’t thin Sione Takitaki is a terrible player, but he has struggled at points this year. The Browns could definitely use an upgrade and Jones is that player. The best part is that draft wise they did not give that much and only downgraded there selection a round.
Grades for Deion Jones trade
Cleveland Browns: B-
Atlanta Falcons: A
No question Atlanta wins this trade here. The Tanks are rolling down smoothly in Atlanta and are doing what they can’t to get out of all their bad contracts and Deion Jones was the last bad contract on the team. This trade is clearly a salary dump as the Falcons got a lot of cap space making this deal and upgrading one of their draft picks from a 7th to a 6th round selection. The Browns don’t lose making this deal with the Falcons, as they did not have to sacrifice much draft capital wise to get Jones and they needed linebacker help on this team. My concern mainly relies on Jones’s awful contract and once Deshaun Watson’s awful contract kicks in, will the Browns even be able to afford him on the team. Overall good move by both Atlanta Falcons GM Terry Fontenot and Cleveland Browns GM Andrew Berry.