The New England Patriots’ Week 6 opponent added some high-profile defensive help on Sunday.
After their 30-28 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Cleveland Browns swung a trade for Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Atlanta reportedly received “late-round draft compensation” in return.
Jones, a Pro Bowler in 2017, once was viewed as one of the NFL’s premier linebackers, but he’s coming off the worst season of his career, posting a 34.6 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked in the bottom 10 at his position. He had been above 68 in each of his first five seasons, peaking at 88.0 in his Pro Bowl campaign.
Previously an athletic asset in coverage, Jones surrendered 78 completions on 92 targets for 884 yards and four touchdowns in 2021, per PFF, with opposing quarterbacks registering a 121.2 passer rating when targeting him.
The 27-year-old also is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and currently is on injured reserve. He’s eligible to be activated at any time, but it’s unclear whether the 2-3 Browns plan to do so ahead of next Sunday’s matchup with the 2-3 Patriots.
The Patriots are coming off their most resounding victory of the season, shutting out the Detroit Lions 29-0 at Gillette Stadium. Cleveland has lost three of its last four as it waits for starting QB Deshaun Watson to return from his 11-game suspension. Ex-Patriots backup Jacoby Brissett is expected to start behind center against New England.