Can the Atlanta Falcons salary-dump a trade of Deion Jones onto the Dallas Cowboys?
A recent trade "rumor'' (suggestion) has the Cowboys trying to make a move for once-upon-a-time star Falcons linebacker Deion Jones. This sounds fine for a Falcons team that seems to want to move on from Jones, even as he has been a playmaker with the Falcons for the last six seasons. In that time, he has accumulated 652 total tackles, 8.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, and a whopping five pick-sixes.
So why move on? A contract that is untenable ... which is the exact same problem the Cowboys are going to have with him.
He burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2016 when he made the NFL All-Rookie Team, following this up with a Pro Bowl appearance in 2017. However, since 2017, he has alternated between injury and slowed-down play speed. And now he's fallen out of favor with the Falcons, to the point that Bleacher Report believes the move would only take a sixth-round draft selection.
What are the obstacles here? As B/R writes: "If the Cowboys are willing to make a trade, Deion Jones of the Atlanta Falcons is a target who makes perfect sense, so long as Dallas is willing to take on some of the $24.9 million in dead money remaining on his contract.''
Yeah, that's a "no.'' Jones would go to Dallas as a non-starter, with Leighton Vander Esch and Jabril Cox already in place and basically competing for just one first-team slot. There is no indication that Dallas is "willing to take on'' that sort of salary weight.
But let's look again at those numbers: We're not sure where B/R comes up with its "$24.9 million in dead money.'' Our understanding is that a trade of Jones would be a gigantic cap relief for Atlanta, saving the Falcons almost $15 million.
So Atlanta would love to pretty much give him away.
Also a "no'': The idea that this makes "perfect sense.'' There is nothing "perfect'' about a fading talent, presently on PUP, who is no longer wanted by his team ... and there is nothing "perfect'' about the finances.
Indeed, Jones' greatest drawback is his albatross contract. Prior to the start of the 2019 season, he signed a four-year $57 million contract extension -- of this, he is slated to have a cap hit of $20 million in 2022 and $18.5 million in 2023. This accompanies dead cap of roughly $25 million in 2022 and $5.3 million in 2023.
Jones has a salary of $13.6 million and a cap hit of $20 million. There's not much his new team can do to massage any of that.
Maybe Dallas coordinator Dan Quinn would make a push for one of his old Falcons' talents ... But the finances make this almost not worthy of the call at all. The Falcons' previous regime made the Deion Jones bed. The new regime might just have to sleep in it.