Falcons, LB Jones reach deal through 2023

The Atlanta Falcons signed linebacker Deion Jones to a four-year extension on Wednesday, putting him under contract through 2023.

Jones’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told multiple media outlets the extension is worth $57 million with $34 million guaranteed for injury. According to The MMQB, the deal includes an $11 million signing bonus, $13.45 million paid in 2019 and $35.5 million over the first three years, with $25.8 million guaranteed in full.

The annual average of $14.25 million makes Jones the second-highest-paid off-ball linebacker in the NFL, behind only the Jets’ C.J. Mosley ($17 million). His guaranteed money also trails only Mosley ($51 million) at the position. Jones, 24, was set to enter the final year of his rookie deal. A second-round pick out of LSU in 2016, he had 244 tackles (14 for loss), six interceptions and 21 pass breakups in 31 games (29 starts) through two seasons, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2017. He was limited to six games in 2018 due to a foot injury.

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In three seasons in the NFL, Jones has 297 tackles, 27 pass defenses, 15 tackles for a loss, eight interceptions and three touchdowns. He would have been a free agent in 2020.

Atlanta is working on a contract extension with the team’s top wideout, Julio Jones, as well. It has been reported that both sides are trying to come to an agreement before training camp starts next week.

As the numbers stand right now, Julio Jones is No. 12 on the NFL’s list of highest-paid receivers at $14.25 million per year. From a production standpoint, he boasts five consecutive seasons of at least 1,400 receiving yards and 80 receptions. His career average of 96.7 receiving yards per game tops the all-time list.

Julio Jones said he wouldn’t hold out over his contract situation and is due to report to training camp Sunday. There has been optimism about the deal getting done before Monday’s first practice, but that’s not a guarantee.

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