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Before Offseason Ends, Falcons Must Make Decision on LB Deion Jones

Jones was the subject of trade rumors earlier this offseason.

The Atlanta Falcons have had quite the busy offseason.

They've traded longtime quarterback Matt Ryan, signed Marcus Mariota to replace him and revamped the front seven entirely, but according to ESPN, the team still has one more decision to make regarding veteran linebacker Deion Jones.

The one-time Pro Bowl linebacker has been the subject of speculation this offseason, though a recent injury has prevented him from being on the field for the team's OTAs and minicamp. Jones is in the final year of his contract that includes guaranteed money and Atlanta has been unweaving a salary cap tangle since GM Terry Fontenot was hired in 2021 -- making every major contract-related decision that much more critical. We'll need to see where Jones is at healthwise as we get to training camp, but he is a name to keep an eye on one way or another.

A trade for Jones seemed inevitable when his contract allowed the Falcons to save $14 million if he was dealt after June 1, but an injury has held Jones out for the entire offseason, leaving the team in a conundrum.

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After drafting Troy Andersen in the second round of the NFL Draft and signing Nick Kwiatkoski, the Falcons now find themselves extremely deep at the linebacker position.

In addition, the team signed Rashaan Evans earlier in the offseason to join team veterans Mykal Walker and Jones.

Jones, 27, is entering his 7th NFL season. He's also been to a Super Bowl, which is a valuable find. The former LSU Tiger is also coming off a season where he recorded 137 tackles, one shy of a career-high.

While keeping Jones adds a veteran presence to the defense, the money might not be worth the value.

A lot rides on Jones' health going into the season. The healthier he is, the likelier he finds a new home.