For the second time this week, the Atlanta Falcons locked up one of their best defensive players for the long term by extending linebacker Deion Jones.
On their way to what the team was hoping would be a third consecutive playoff appearance, things came apart very early in the season for the Atlanta Falcons on the defensive side of the football.
In a Week 1 Thursday night loss at Philadelphia, the club saw middle linebacker Deion Jones go down with a broken foot while safety Keanu Neal was lost for the season with a knee injury. Two games later, safety Ricardo Allen was lost for the rest of the year with a torn Achilles.
All told, Dan Quinn’s team plummeted from ninth in the league in total defense in 2017 to 28th in that same category. This past season, Atlanta surrendered a whopping 423 points – 108 more than the previous season (315).
But it’s safe to say that the Falcons have a lot of confidence in the players they have and know that injuries were the primary cause for the demise. On Monday, they managed to reach a deal with interior presence Grady Jarrett (given the franchise tag this year) on a four-year, $68 million deal. Now comes the latest news in regards to one of their better players on this side of the ball.
Jones, who led the team in tackles in each of his first two seasons in the league and was named to the Pro Bowl in ’17, returned to play in the final five games this past year. Keep in mind that he missed 10 games in 2018 and still finished seventh on the club with 53 tackles, to go along with one sacks, two interceptions and six passes defensed.
So now Quinn’s team has both Jarrett and Jones under contract for a few years. That’s excellent news for any team as the Falcons have secured the future for the middle of this defensive unit. Meanwhile, pass-rusher Vic Beasley is in the final year of his rookie deal. Could the organization be getting ready to re-up with the four-year pro anytime soon? Stay tuned.