The Falcons agreed to terms with middle linebacker Deion Jones on a contract extension, the team announced Wednesday.
The deal is for four years, $57 million, with $28.5 million guaranteed.
The Falcons, who agreed Monday to a four-year, $68 million deal with defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, are trying to wrap up some business matters before the veterans report for training camp Sunday. The rookies, who are all signed, report Thursday for training camp.
Practice starts Monday.
After Jarrett’s deal, the Falcons were projected to have $11.8 million under the salary cap before the Jones deal, according to spotrac.com.
Jones, who’ll turn 25 in November, was drafted in the second round (52nd overall) of the NFL draft in 2016 out of LSU.
He was an immediate starter and helped the Falcons reach Super Bowl LI in his rookie season. In 2017, he led the team in tackles with 138 and was selected for the Pro Bowl.
Last season, Jones appeared in six games and recorded 53 tackles after suffering a broken foot in the season opener.
Jones was entering the final year of his four-year, $4.546 rookie contract and was set to make a base salary of $1.07 million for the 2019 season. The Falcons wanted to wrap Jones up with a long-term extension and avoid him becoming an unrestricted free agent in March 2020.
“If I’m him, I wouldn’t do anything until I know what the resolution is with Bobby Wagner,” said Joel Corry, CBS Sports’ NFL business analyst and former agent, before the news of the agreement was revealed.
Currently, Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley is the top-paid linebacker, at $17 million per year. Wagner, a five-time Pro Bowl and four-time All-Pro pick, has been asking for more than Mosley. Wagner is trying to represent himself.
Also, former Tampa Bay linebacker Kwon Alexander, who played with Jones at LSU, signed a four-year, $54 million deal that averages $13.5 million per year with San Francisco.
Jones, as the third-rated inside linebacker in the league, is projected to be worth $13 million annually by spotrac.com.
Before the agreement, Jones was the 47th highest paid inside linebacker in the league.
The last piece of business is to iron out a contract extension for wide receiver Julio Jones, who is projected to land a deal that averages more than $20 million per year.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.