Linebacker Deion Jones‘ future in Atlanta has been fodder for speculation recently and he won’t be working with the Falcons for the rest of the offseason.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith told reporters on Thursday that Jones will be out for the entire offseason program because he is rehabbing after having his shoulder cleaned up this offseason. Smith didn’t elaborate on Jones’ condition during the press conference.
The announcement comes days after Jeff Schultz of TheAthletic.com reported Jones is almost certain to leave the team after June 1. Per the report, the Falcons would like to trade him as it would clear over $14.7 million of his $20 million-plus cap hit.
Releasing him would bring far less cap relief, but would still allow the Falcons to swallow the hit now and move on with a cleaner cap in the future. It may also be the likelier route given the shoulder issue.
Jones signed a four-year extension with the team in 2019 and started 16 games for the team last year. He had 137 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble in those appearances.