Atlanta Falcons 53-man roster projection: What's next for LB Deion Jones and his contract?

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones missed the entire offseason with a shoulder injury and has a cap hit of $20 million in 2022. David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

The Atlanta Falcons open the 2022 NFL regular season against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 11 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Atlanta's roster is going to look different heading into training camp. How much remains to be seen. The Falcons used the offseason time as a way to have an extended tryout for some players -- hence bigger numbers at receiver and tight end -- while also experimenting with different things. But like most NFL teams, a lot of the roster is largely set already due to contracts and talent.

The big question is linebacker Deion Jones, the last big unsettled contract from the former regime of coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Jones has a cap hit over $20 million for 2022 and has $13.64 million in guaranteed money. Plus, he missed the entire offseason program coming off a shoulder injury.

If the Falcons could trade Jones, they probably would, but with almost $19 million in dead cap if the team releases him (and Atlanta already has more than $63 million in dead cap space), it would seem unlikely they'd just cut him. Is it possible? Sure, and it will be something to watch all August.

Here's a 53-man roster projection heading into the summer break:

QUARTERBACK (3): Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder, Feleipe Franks