Deion Jones returns to Falcons practice

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After undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, Deion Jones has returned from the Physically Unable to Perform List to practice Wednesday afternoon, according to multiple reports.

Jeff Schultz of The Athletic recently reported the Falcons have failed in their attempts to trade Jones but will not cut him. The belief is the former LSU Tiger won’t be a distraction to the team, while the financial incentives to cut him don’t make sense.

According to OverTheCap, cutting him would create nearly $19 million in dead money with a savings of $1.07 million this season, but the advantage would be him being off the books next season. The Falcons would have cap savings in 2023 of $13.1 million and dead money of $5.3 million. If they did indeed part ways with Jones in this fashion, Atlanta would have a record-breaking $82 million in dead cap, which is 40% of the total cap.

Obviously, that isn’t the ideal scenario. That is a ton more dead money for a team that is already setting records in that sense. If it were the Falcons’ preference, they’d trade him with a June 1st designation. The dead cap figure would only be $5.34 million in 2022 and 2023, with savings of $14.7 million and $13.1 million, respectively.

While on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, Jones wasn’t able to be traded. But I seriously doubt he’s going to be playing for another team this season. Despite being the highest-paid linebacker with a cap hit north of $20 million, given the team’s lowly expectations, it won’t affect the team much either way if he’s here. The defense as a whole should improve, so the staff and front office may want to see how he fairs the second season in a new system. However, if Deion Jones is considered a negative influence in the locker room, the Falcons might not have a choice in parting ways with Jones.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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