Implications of the Deion Jones trade for the Falcons

Implications of the Deion Jones trade for the Falcons

The Falcons traded Deion Jones final evening. That would’ve been an earth-shattering transfer a yr in the past and it’s nonetheless an enormous deal now, however, I don’t suppose it took anybody unexpectedly right here in October 2022.

Jones will land in Cleveland with a shot to begin and revive a once-wildly profitable profession as long as he’s wholesome, and the Falcons will probably be transferring on from a participant with an enormous contract that not has figured into the workforce’s plans.

What does each one imply for Atlanta from a roster and cap perspective? Glad you requested it.

Roster implications are restricted

As a result of Jones being on injured reserve via the primary 5 weeks of the season, the Falcons’ roster shouldn’t be impacted in any respect. There isn’t any free roster spot as a result of Jones not taking over one, and the workforce will proceed to hold 5 inside linebackers on the energetic roster. That’s just about it right here.

Mykal Walker is auditioning to be a long-term starter for Atlanta this season, primarily, whereas Rashaan Evans is probably going hoping to show a one-year pact right into a long-term deal as effectively. One of many workforce’s two beginning spots will go to Troy Andersen sooner or later, because the rookie is getting higher every week, and veteran Nick Kwiatkoski and rookie undrafted free agent Nate Landman spherical out the group.

Jones was going to slot in there uneasily if he returned to the roster, on condition that Kwiatkoski is a participant the Falcons seem to love and is nonetheless a weekly inactive, however, we by no means noticed how that may play out. In Cleveland, he’ll both be a reserve with a big position or a starter straight away, in all probability. In Atlanta, the Falcons are within the strategy of determining who matches into the linebacker group long-term.

Draft implications are small, as effectively

Atlanta obtained a 2024 sixth spherical choice in alternate for Deion Jones and a 2024 seventh spherical choice. This workforce has but to make use of a seventh-rounder and certainly weren’t bemoaning that loss, however, they have turned three sixth-rounders into Frank Darby, Justin Shaffer, and John FitzPatrick in Terry Fontenot’s two seasons on the helm. The jury is out on all three in the meantime, given their lack of enjoying time thus far, however, we all know the workforce will definitely put these sixth-rounders to make use of.

That’s a small profit, then, however one that can assist the Falcons doubtlessly get yet one more attention-grabbing reserve…in 2024. We’ll have to attend to see how that performs.

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Cap implications are extra important

The Falcons aren’t precisely rolling around in cap house the way in which they’d have been in the event that they traded Jones earlier this summer season, after June 1 however earlier than the restructure. They’re nonetheless releasing up some house long-term, even within the speedy useless cash is awe-inspiring.

In essence, Tom Pelissero at NFL Community stories that Jones will carry a useless cash cost of $12.14 million subsequent yr, whereas the Falcons unlock somewhat over $8 million in cap house. That may add to their already important battle chest, and whereas I’m not knowledgeable on voidable years by any means, I feel they’re within the clear after 2023 for Jones’ contract. The upshot of all that useless cash being absorbed this yr is that the Falcons will go into 2023 with simply over $12.4 million in useless cash, in comparison with the $77 million this yr, and are anticipated to have tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in cap house for the primary time in current reminiscence.

The 2023 financial savings are essentially the most important piece of this for Atlanta, as it can assist them to go on an enormous free agent procuring spree in the event that they’d like to take action, even when their financial savings aren’t huge at the finish of the day.

When all was stated and executed, the Falcons didn’t pull off some nice coup a lot as they made a transfer the entrance workplace clearly felt was vital. The number of restructures to Jones’ deal wound up which means that their financial savings weren’t as important as they could have been in any other case, however, they obtain some financial savings and don’t have to hold on to a contract for a participant who was not a part of their plans.

Atlanta’s sought to emulate the Buffalo Payments of their street again to rivalry, and nowhere have they executed so in an extra easy means than this nice teardown of huge contracts and willingness to eat big useless cash prices with a view to obtain long-term flexibility. The Falcons did an admirable job this offseason of constructing a strong workforce regardless of their cap limitations and the curveballs launched by their sudden pursuit of Deshaun Watson and the Matt Ryan commerce however, they needed to get to the purpose the place they are often main spenders in 2023 and 2024 as they attempt to turn into one of many NFL’s higher groups once more. Terry Fontenot and the firm have held their noses over and over to get that executed, however, Jones represents the final main contract the workforce needed to be rid of.

The important thing now will probably be turning the cap house and their draft choice into items that can assist this workforce have long-term success, one thing they didn’t consider was attainable with Jones and his deal. In the meantime, nothing adjustments on the roster, the place the workforce is hoping their younger group of inside linebackers will develop into one thing particular for protection trying to obtain greatness before later.

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