Falcons sign Deion Jones to four-year, $57M extension

With playmaking linebacker Deion Jones entering the final season of his rookie contract for Atlanta, the Falcons made their play and locked him up.

The Falcons inked Jones to a four-year, $57 million extension with $34 million guaranteed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, per Jones’ agent Drew Rosenhaus.

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The team later confirmed the deal.

Turning 25 in November, Jones is one of the premier linebackers in the game when it comes to pass coverage and his loss to injury last season was a huge blow to the Falcons. Now, with Jones on board for the long haul, Atlanta can seemingly get back to the form it displayed during its run to Super Bowl LI.

As a rookie in the Falcons’ Super Bowl season, Jones led Atlanta with 106 tackles and three interceptions.

A stellar coverage linebacker, Jones is on the heels of an injury-shortened 2018 campaign in which he played in only six games and the Falcons’ defense suffered because of it. Still, Jones’ presence was felt to the tune of 53 tackles and two interceptions in those six starts.

A 2017 Pro Bowl selection, Jones has eight interceptions over his three seasons and 297 combined tackles. In 2017, he was outstanding with a full 16-start season producing 138 tackles, three interceptions and 10 tackles for loss.

Last year, Jones’ injury, combined with the loss of safety Keanu Neal to injury, spelled doom for the Falcons. Jones was placed on injured reserve with a foot ailment and subsequently, Atlanta’s coverage grade dropped from a top-eight showing to 19th, according to Pro Football Focus.

But Jones is poised to return healthy and, following Wednesday’s signing, very happy as the Falcons aim for a postseason return in 2019.

Jones’ signing comes after Atlanta signed defensive tackle Grady Jarrett to a four-year, $68 million contract Monday. The Falcons’ attention now turns to star wideout Julio Jones, who has also been vocal about wanting a new deal despite being two years away from free agency.

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