Deion Jones

Browns Activate LB Deion Jones

Deion Jones is set to make his Browns debut tomorrow. According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports (on Twitter), the linebacker has been activated from injured reserve. The team has also promoted linebacker Dakota Allen and cornerback Herb Miller from the practice squad, per Mary Kay Cabot of (on Twitter).

Jones was acquired from Atlanta earlier this month despite sitting on injured reserve. He was soon designated for return, allowing him to practice with his new squad for more than a week. The linebacker underwent shoulder surgery back in May, a move that ended up temporarily halting trade talks. While his salary was apparently a concern for some suitors, Jones and Cleveland later agreed to a reworked contract that will make the veteran a free agent at the end of the season.

The linebacker spent the first six seasons of his career in Atlanta, including a 2021 campaign where he collected 137 tackles. The Browns lost veteran linebacker starter Anthony Walker for the season in Week 3, leaving a major hole on their defense. Jacob Phillips has since found himself with a starting gig, and it’ll be interesting to see if he supplants usual starter Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah with Jones in the lineup.

Allen has spent the majority of the 2022 season on Cleveland’s practice squad, although he’s been active for a pair of games. The linebacker got into 14 games with the Jaguars last season, collecting nine tackles. Miller has seen time in 11 games for Cleveland over the past two years, including two this year.

AFC North Notes: Steelers, Jones, Ravens

A bit of a controversy developed in Pittsburgh this week. Mitch Trubisky and Diontae Johnson engaged in a shouting match during halftime of the Steelers-Jets contest, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes, adding that this provided the impetus for Trubisky’s benching. Mike Tomlin did not confirm or deny a shouting match between the quarterback and the team’s highest-paid wideout ensued, though Johnson essentially confirmed a football-related argument took place. But The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly adds the dispute was not the deciding factor in the 16th-year coach moving to Kenny Pickett for the second half of that game. Johnson wanted more targets from Trubisky in that Week 4 game, Dulac adds, leading to the team’s original starter standing up to the fourth-year receiver.

Tomlin benched Trubisky primarily due to his underwhelming performance during the season’s first month, with Kaboly adding he had already decided to go with Pickett. Trubisky sat throughout Week 5 but played well when reinserted into Pittsburgh’s lineup following Pickett’s Week 6 concussion. Despite a bounce-back relief effort against the Buccaneers, Trubisky is set to return to the bench. Pickett cleared concussion protocol Friday and is in line to start against the Dolphins, Tomlin said. Levi Wallace and Pat Freiermuth also cleared the protocol, arming the Steelers with key starters.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • It looks likely Deion Jones will make his Browns debut Sunday. The team held off from activating the recently acquired linebacker from IR last week, giving the longtime Falcons starter more time after designating him for return. Jones is progressing fast in Joe Woods‘ defense, per linebackers coach Jason Tarver (via’s Mary Kay Cabot, on Twitter). Tarver said Jones could be in position to wear the green dot, signifying headset communication, in the near future. The Browns, who lost Anthony Walker to a season-ending injury in Week 3, acquired the six-year Atlanta cog for merely a 2024 pick swap.
  • Cleveland will be without multiple Pro Bowlers against Baltimore, however. The Browns ruled out Wyatt Teller and Denzel Ward for their divisional matchup. Teller is battling a calf strain, while Ward will miss a second consecutive game due to a concussion he suffered in Week 5.
  • Ben Powers has operated as the Ravens‘ left guard this season, winning a training camp competition. While 2021 third-round pick Ben Cleveland was nominally in that battle, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes the younger Ben in this matchup did not mount a serious push at winning the job opposite Kevin Zeitler. The Ravens have been frustrated with Cleveland’s inability to practice consistently due to injuries, Zrebiec adds. Cleveland missed the first week of training camp due to a failed conditioning test and has missed the past two games due to a foot injury. The Ravens did see Cleveland return to practice Thursday. Cleveland, who started four games last season, has not played an offensive snap this year. Baltimore was holding a three-player competition for the job Powers won. The third entrant, Tyre Phillips, is now with the Giants.

Browns, Deion Jones Agree To Remove Year From LB’s Contract

Designated for return last week, Deion Jones is expected to make his Browns debut against the Ravens in Week 7. That will now be the start of a contract year for the veteran linebacker.

Following his Atlanta-to-Cleveland trade, Jones agreed to remove the 2023 season from his contract, Field Yates of notes (on Twitter). Jones entered the season on his 2019 Falcons extension — a four-year, $57MM deal — that ran through 2023, but this is now his walk year.

Jones was due a nonguaranteed $11.99MM in 2023. The six-year starter will attempt to rebuild his value toward a third NFL contract. The Browns are now attached to less than $1MM in Jones payments; Jones’ September restructure reduced his 2022 base salary to $1.14MM. But Cleveland also will have some questions at linebacker beyond 2022. Two-year starter Anthony Walker is also a free agent, after having signed another one-year deal this offseason.

Although Jones started throughout the 2021 season in Dean Pees‘ defense, the Falcons’ offseason moves and the steady trade buzz surrounding the former second-round pick revealed he was falling out of favor with the new regime. The Falcons, who used Jones and Foyesade Oluokun as their primary off-ball ‘backers last season, have now moved on from both this year. They are still tied to considerable Jones dead money ($11.36MM this year and $12.14MM in 2023), but the Matt Ryan trade — which brought a record $40MM in dead money — showed Atlanta’s current regime is not hesitating regarding cap penalties.

Jones will turn 28 next month. This trade, a 2024 pick swap, has shown a value drop compared to where the LSU alum’s stock resided in 2019. The second half of this Browns season provides a window for the 83-game starter to rebuild it.

A few younger off-ball ‘backers are poised for free agency in 2023 as well. Tremaine Edmunds and Roquan Smith may not both hit the market, but they are eligible to do so as of now. Lavonte David‘s third Buccaneers contract is up after 2022, while Denzel Perryman is also tied to an expiring deal. The Raiders have discussed an extension with the eighth-year defender, however. It will be interesting if Jones and the Browns huddle up about a potential re-up at some point before his deal expires in March.

Browns Designate LB Deion Jones For Return

The Browns made the rare move to trade for a player on injured reserve, but Deion Jones‘ status changed Wednesday morning. Cleveland designated the veteran linebacker for return.

Jones will be eligible to practice for his new team today. The former Pro Bowler is not yet on the Browns’ 53-man roster, but he is moving in that direction. The team could have him in uniform against the Patriots.

Were Jones not close to returning from his shoulder injury, it would not make much sense for the Browns to make this trade. So the six-year starter will likely be in position to be activated immediately. The Browns still have all eight of their IR-return activations remaining. Jones, 27, joins new teammate Greedy Williams in being designated for return.

Hovering as a trade candidate for months, Jones underwent shoulder surgery back in May. That paused the prospect of the Falcons trading him, but the team restructured his contract to make a move easier. Despite the Falcons taking Jones off their active/PUP list in late August, they stashed him on IR to start the year. The Browns swooped in three weeks ahead of the trade deadline.

The Browns lost veteran linebacker starter Anthony Walker for the season in Week 3 and have been gashed by two backfields since. The Falcons and Chargers each topped 200 rushing yards in their respective wins over the Browns. The latter outing — one that featured a 173-yard Austin Ekeler rushing day — prompted Cleveland to acquire Jones that night. The Browns added ex-Jones Falcons teammate Tyeler Davison, a seven-year defensive tackle, to their practice squad Tuesday. Cleveland can promote Davison to its active roster before Week 6 as well.

Drafted during the Dan QuinnThomas Dimitroff Falcons regime, Jones became an instant starter. He played a key role in helping Atlanta to Super Bowl LI and earned a big-ticket extension in 2019. Jones remains tied to that deal, which runs through the 2023 season. Although he adds to Atlanta’s bloated dead-money total, the LSU product — because of the late-summer restructure — checks in at just $1.74MM on Cleveland’s payroll. With that cap hit spiking to $13.2MM in 2023, this amounts to an audition season for Jones alongside Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in Cleveland. Walker’s deal expires at season’s end.

Jones’ 137 tackles last season were one shy of his career-high total. Nevertheless, the Terry FontenotArthur Smith regime made it known his 2022 status with the team was tenuous. The Falcons signed former Dean Pees charge Rashaan Evans and selected Troy Andersen in Round 2. Jones has five 100-plus-tackle seasons and has five career pick-sixes. Only Hall of Famers Derrick Brooks, Bobby Bell and ex-Brown Karlos Dansby have more among linebackers.

Browns Acquire LB Deion Jones From Falcons

OCTOBER 10: Per the terms of the deal, which is now official, Atlanta will send Jones and their 2024 seventh-round pick to Cleveland for the Browns’ 2024 sixth-rounder. A statement from Falcons GM Terry Fontenot reads in part, “We thank Deion for the impact he has had over his seven seasons in Atlanta and wish him the best in his career.”

OCTOBER 9: Deion Jones‘ time in Atlanta has come to an end. The Falcons are trading the Pro Bowl linebacker to the Browns in exchange for late-round draft compensation (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport). ESPN’s Jake Trotter tweets that the teams will swap Day 3 picks in 2024.

The 27-year-old has long been the subject of trade talk, given the size of his contract. Rapoport notes that Cleveland will absorb the remainder of his deal, though they will be on the hook for a 2022 base salary of only $1.14MM, due to a recent restructure.

Still, the fact that another three years remained on Jones’ deal with cap hits of over $13MM this year, and more than $20MM next, makes this another successful financial move from the Falcons’ perspective. The team will incur a dead cap charge of $12.14MM in 2023, per Rapoport’s colleague Tom Pelissero (Twitter link). For the Browns, the fact that no guaranteed money remains after 2022 made this acquisition a feasible one.

Jones is currently on IR, as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. When he is able to take the field, though, he will add a veteran presence to a Browns LB corps which lost Anthony Walker for the season. Jones – who has topped 100 tackles in all but one of his six seasons in the NFL, and notched 11 interceptions – has plenty of pedigree in both the pass and run game.

This move marks one of several financially-driven transactions for Atlanta. The team is already eating a record-breaking dead cap charge from quarterback Matt Ryan, in an effort to carve out space beginning in 2023. This trade will help accomplish that goal, though it still represents an underwhelming end to the former second-rounder’s tenure with the only franchise he had played for. In Cleveland, a team with greater 2022 aspirations and which, Rapoport notes, was looking to be active on the trade market, Jones will look to rebuild his value and contribute on a highly-regarded defense.

Falcons Restructure Deion Jones’ Deal

Mentioned in trade rumors throughout the offseason, Deion Jones is currently on injured reserve. The Falcons linebacker, who underwent shoulder surgery in May, cannot return to action until at least Week 5. The Falcons may be planning ahead regarding a Jones move, however.

The team converted $8.5MM of Jones’ base salary to a signing bonus, according to’s Field Yates (on Twitter). This creates $6.8MM in cap space for Falcons while also dropping Jones’ 2022 base to $1.14MM.

The adjustment, which dropped Jones’ cap figure from $20MM to $13.2MM, marks the second straight September in which the Falcons’ current regime has restructured Jones’ contract. Jones remains tied to the four-year, $57MM extension he signed during the Thomas Dimitroff GM tenure.

[RELATED: Assessing Jones’ Trade Candidacy]

Jones’ contract served as a previous impediment to a trade, a scenario that has been rumored for months. But this recent restructure stands to make the seventh-year defender easier to trade. The Falcons could now trade Jones and save $6.2MM. Previously, the team would barely have been able to save $1MM by dealing away its longest-tenured defender. While a Jones trade would come with a $7MM dead-money hit this year, that number is way down from where it once stood.

Atlanta added three void years to Jones’ deal, which runs through 2023. The former Pro Bowler carries an $11.99MM base salary next season. GM Terry Fontenot‘s Matt Ryan trade — which triggered an NFL-record $40MM dead-money charge this year — showed the team is willing to pay the necessary costs if a worthwhile deal emerges. The restructure, however, also would make it costlier for the Falcons to cut Jones in 2023.

Jones would need to flash some of his previous form in order for the Falcons to collect a decent asset, and the cap space added would help the team in the event no deal commences before the Nov. 1 deadline. The former second-round pick is still just 27 and has 83 starts on his resume. Jones’ five pick-sixes are also one shy of the linebacker record (shared by Karlos Dansby and Hall of Famers Bobby Bell and Derrick Brooks). It would not shock to see a linebacker-needy team make the Falcons an offer, should Jones re-emerge healthy ahead of the deadline. Prior to this season, Jones had missed just one game over the past three years. Jones registered 137 tackles in 2021; he has notched 25 tackles for loss since 2019.

The Falcons made several moves at linebacker this offseason. Former Titans first-rounder Rashaan Evans is back with DC Dean Pees, starting for his new team in Week 1. Evans started alongside third-year ‘backer Mykal Walker. The Falcons also have second-round pick Troy Andersen and veteran Nick Kwiatkoski in the fold. Jones would crowd this position group upon returning.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/1/22

Teams continue to tinker with their rosters after hundreds of players were cut earlier this week. We’ve tracked all of today’s minor moves below:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Falcons Place LB Deion Jones, CB Isaiah Oliver On IR

The Falcons removed Deion Jones from their active/PUP list last week, but the veteran linebacker will still miss the season’s first four games. Atlanta placed Jones on IR Thursday.

This turned out to be part of a bigger Atlanta IR shift. In addition to the Jones placement, the Falcons moved cornerback Isaiah Oliver, defensive lineman Marlon Davidson, offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield and tight end John FitzPatrick to IR. All are now ineligible through Week 4.

[RELATED: Falcons Claim T Chuma Edoga]

With one of the free roster spots, the Falcons brought back linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. The team had included the former Bears and Raiders defender among its Tuesday cuts. Atlanta also re-signed defensive lineman Abdullah Anderson and offensive lineman Colby Gossett.

Linked in trade rumors for months, Jones underwent shoulder surgery in May to quiet those. He did not return to practice until late August. The seventh-year defender is set to count for a Falcons-most $20MM against the 2022 cap. The team added Kwiatkoski, former Dean Pees Titans charge Rashaan Evans and second-rounder Troy Andersen at the position — one also housing third-year cog Mykal Walker — this offseason. That and the Falcons having moved on from most of their Super Bowl LI nucleus, as they attempt to rebuild, has naturally inserted Jones’ name into departure rumors.

It should not be completely ruled out Jones could be dealt by the Nov. 1 deadline, but Thursday’s transaction — continuing an injury hiatus into the season — further complicates that status.

Oliver went down with a season-ending knee injury in October of last year. Despite that, the former second-round pick re-signed with the Falcons on a one-year, $2.39MM deal. A 33-game Falcons starter, Oliver will have missed at least a year of football by the time he is able to return. Davidson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last month. Mayfield lost his right guard job to journeyman Elijah Wilkinson during camp.

Falcons’ Deion Jones Returns To Practice

The Falcons had a familiar face back at practice on Wednesday. The team activated linebacker Deion Jones from the PUP list, per James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link). 

Jones had been sidelined throughout training camp as a result of offseason shoulder surgery. The procedure was deemed a relatively minor one, but it marked another chapter in the veteran’s uneasy relationship with the team. His contract – which has two years remaining on it, and carries a team-leading $20MM cap charge this season – represents the largest impediment to the team being able to trade him.

The former Pro Bowler is facing competition at the position in the form of Rashaan Evans and Mykal Walker to regain his starting role. Jones has started all but two of his 85 career games in Atlanta, but downplayed the significance of returning farther down the depth chart than he has ever been.

“Every year, I come in and compete for my spot,” he said, via D. Orlando Lebetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution“Every year, we come in and we compete for our spots. So, I’m good with it. It is what it is.”

When asked about the persistent trade speculation which has surrounded him this offseason, Jones added, “I had no question about me being back here. I figured I was going to be back here. I was just getting my mindset ready and my body ready to come back… I’m not on social media during the offseason. But, yeah, if I would have known something, it was something serious, [head coach ArthurSmith would have called me.”

The rebuilding Falcons also have second-round rookie Troy Anderson and free agent signing Nick Kwiatkoski rounding out the LB depth chart. Where Jones fits in amongst his teammates – and any developments on the trade front now that he is healthy – will be worth watching in the build-up to the season.

Falcons Place LB Deion Jones On PUP

Eventually, Deion Jones will likely emerge as a trade candidate. For the time being, the linebacker will sit on PUP. The Falcons announced that they have placed the veteran on the physically unable to perform list.

[RELATED: Trade Candidate: Falcons LB Deion Jones]

Jones underwent shoulder surgery earlier this offseason, but the procedure was reportedly a “cleanup.” It sounded like the linebacker could be back in time for training camp, but he’ll miss at least the first few days of practice thanks to today’s transactions. Jones can return to practice at any time, but that will require the Falcons to remove him from the PUP list.

A 2016 second-round pick, Jones has anchored Atlanta’s linebacking corps throughout his career. The 27-year-old had another productive season in 2021, finishing with 137 tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble. However, he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl since 2017, and with the Falcons facing a total rebuild, Jones would seem to be one of the next veterans on the block.

The problem is, moving on from Jones is easier said than done. Tied to a $20MM cap figure this year, Jones has two seasons left on his contract. Thanks to two 2021 restructures, the Falcons would be left with a whopping $18MM in dead money if they decided to release the linebacker, adding on to their $63MM in dead-money charges (much of that from the dead-money record ($40MM) on Matt Ryan‘s contract).

So, the more likely path is that Jones is moved via trade, and once the linebacker is able to show that he’s fully recovered from his shoulder surgery, there should be plenty of squads interested in adding him to their LB room. While teams might be leery of the $9.6MM (guaranteed) and $11.9MM (nonguaranteed) salaries he is due over the next two years, the LSU product is still just 27 and has missed only one game over the past three seasons.

For the time being, the likes of Rashaan Evans, Mykal Walker, Troy Andersen, and Nick Kwiatkoski should get some extra reps at inside linebacker with Jones sidelined.