LB Deion Jones, Falcons Agree to 4-Year, $57M Contract Extension

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIIJuly 17, 2019

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones (45) runs back to the bench after he intercepted the ball and ran it in for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Danny Karnik/Associated Press

Deion Jones will remain an Atlanta Falcon through the 2023 season.

Jones' agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter Wednesday afternoon that the 24-year-old linebacker is signing a four-year, $57 million extension with the Falcons that includes $34 million guaranteed. 

Schefter had reported Friday that Rosenhaus was set to meet with the Falcons in Atlanta for "face-to-face negotiations" Wednesday. 

Jones' extension comes two days after Atlanta agreed to a four-year extension with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett after he had initially been franchise-tagged by the team. 

Jones, selected by Atlanta in the second round (No. 52 overall) of the 2016 NFL draft, was entering the final year of his rookie contract. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter earlier Wednesday, "The Falcons know they don’t want [Jones] to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020."

And now, he won't. 

Jones' last season was shortened by a stint on the injured reserve due to a foot injury suffered in the Falcons' season-opener against Philadelphia. He did not return to the field until Week 13 against the Baltimore Ravens.

In the six games he did play, Jones tallied 53 tackles (34 solo) and two interceptions and one pick-six. His most productive season since entering the league came in 2017 when he posted 138 tackles (91 solo), 10 tackles for loss and three interceptions across 16 starts, and that's why the Falcons paid him. 

That season, Jones ranked fourth in the NFL with his 138 tackles.

"Deion Jones is tough, smart, fast, instinctive, a sure-tackler, a leader, team captain and arguably the best coverage linebacker in the NFL," ESPN's Field Yates added after Schefter broke the news of Jones' extension. "He's the ideal fit for what the Falcons want to do defensively. Hard to overstate how important this extension is to this franchise." 

Training camp begins Thursday for rookies and Sunday for veterans. While inking Jones and Grady prior to training camp is a huge win for the defense, the franchise still has to work out a deal with 30-year-old All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones. According to The Athletic's Jeff Schultz, Julio was on a private jet with Deion on Wednesday.

Retaining stars such as Jarrett and both Joneses is crucial for the Falcons as they hope to rebound from a 7-9 2018 campaign.

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