Browns beef up defense by landing Deion Jones from Falcons

The Cleveland Browns pulled off a trade with the Atlanta Falcons for inside linebacker Deion Jones on Sunday night.

On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns narrowly lost to the Los Angeles Chargers 30-28, despite the fact that their opponents tried to give them the game. Not long after the loss became official, Browns general manager Andrew Berry decided to make a move to improve their defense.

According to NFL Network national insider Ian Rapoport, the Browns have acquired linebacker Deion Jones from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for late-round draft compensation. As Rapoport points out, Jones’ contract was restructured prior to the start of the season, giving him a base salary of $1 million.

ESPN’s Jake Trotter reports that the late-round compensation comes from the 2024 NFL Draft.

The deal is finalized, so what grades does each team get?

Browns trade grade: High marks for landing Deion Jones

The Browns have had a need for a middle linebacker after Anthony Walker, their starter, had to get carted off in the team’s Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was revealed that Walker had suffered a torn quad and that he was out for the remainder of the year.

Now, Cleveland brings in a linebacker who was named to the Pro Bowl back in 2017. Jones has recorded over 100 tackles in five of his first six seasons in the NFL. Overall, Jones recorded 652 combined tackles, 44 defended passes, 11 interceptions, 8.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.

Jones has not played in a single game this season, due to the fact that he was on the injured reserve to start the season due to a shoulder injury. But, he is ready to be taken off the list.

The Browns are ready to compete this season, and they desperately needed to address their need at middle linebacker. They got a new inside linebacker, and barely gave up anything.

Trade Grade: B+

Falcons trade grade: Moving on from Deion Jones is the right move

The Falcons are in a rebuild under head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot. That was evident after they moved on from wide receiver Julio Jones and quarterback Matt Ryan in the past two seasons. Now, they move on from Deion Jones, who was signed to a four-year, $57 million contract extension back in 2019.

By moving on from Jones, the Browns will carry a $12.14 million dead cap hit in 2023, per NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero.

The new Falcons regime is looking to build the team in its image. They have decided that Jones was not in their plans, and decided to move on from him. Instead of releasing Jones, they got some draft capital in exchange. Yes, it may be in the later rounds, but it is better than getting nothing.

Trade Grade: B

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