The Falcons began training camp on Wednesday, and Arthur Smith provided an injury update on Deion Jones.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith said LB Deion Jones is working to get back. When I asked if he thinks he’ll be available at all during camp, he said he’ll have a better idea in about a week. pic.twitter.com/eG8WTPhGkN
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) July 27, 2022
Atlanta just recently placed Jones on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, which means he cannot be traded or cut but can be activated anytime during training camp or the preseason, complicating any plans to deal the former LSU Tiger. From Smith’s words, it seems the team plans on keeping him, even if the financial ramifications of parting ways with Jones justify trading him. However, cutting him might not be the most economical decision.
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.
The Falcons aren’t going to be challenging anyone for a playoff spot in 2022, so it won’t exactly create ripples whichever way the team decides. The defense as a whole should improve, so it’s possible the staff and front office want to see how he fairs the second season in a new system.
Photographer: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire