Notables project 'page' states that they are only using it on Living profiles, so the Deceased profiles would normally get the Notables Sticker.
There are a lot of Suggestions for Notables project box on profiles without Notables Account. When I had asked someone awhile back about this, they had said the Notables project box should be removed from the profiles because they currently were only adding it to the Living Profiles which people can't really see normally. There are many deceased profiles that have Project box on them and have notables account, but those are ok since they are not generating Suggestions. Notables project needs to clarify if that is still the situation, that the Notables Project Box should be changed to 'Sticker' on the Deceased Profiles that have that Suggestion, which only means adding that word in the project box and then moving the sticker below the Biographer header.
Protected status was done to the profile in Feb 2012. Looking at Changes log, it has an entry 'edited Locked Status'. There had been unmatched merges with similar names around that time, so it may have been done to protect the merge to make sure it was done correctly and then never removed, especially since there is no project account on the profile.