Report: Steelers Interested In Lions Free Agent DE Jason Jones

The Pittsburgh Steelers still might add another outside free agent or two moving forward into the offseason and a Thursday evening report by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com has them showing interest in Detroit Lions unrestricted free agent defensive end Jason Jones.

Jones, who was drafted originally by the Tennessee Titans in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Eastern Michigan, has also played for the Seattle Seahawks in addition to the Titans and Lions.

Last season in Detroit, Jones started 15 games for the Lions and registered 31 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Jones is a hybrid edge-rusher of sorts and is currently listed by the league at 6’5″, 275-pounds. He earned $3.15 million last season and played 542 total defensive snaps.

Jones is probably best-suited to be a situational nickel pass-rusher in the Steelers defensive scheme. The Steelers need to try to get defensive ends Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt some help this coming season so that they won’t have to play as many snaps. Jones is flexible and big enough to rush from the inside as well as the outside like a linebacker.

 

  • WreckIess

    No. No more mediocre pass rushers.

  • Greg F

    You act like they have a choice.

  • CodeNameJerk

    At his size I’m guessing he’d play end? Or maybe the elephant roll we heard so much about last year?

  • WreckIess

    Is someone forcing them to sign Jason Jones?

  • Mike Lloyd

    Ehhh Jones is quality depth for the rotation. I’m good if he’s brought in… I’d still like to see a D-lineman drafted even if he’s signed and McLendon resigned…

  • Rusted Out

    Cam Thomas replacement

  • SteelPierogie

    gonna be hard to fill his shoes

  • Bah gawd who thought ud ever say that

  • TroymanianDevil

    As a depth signing for cheap, fine. Can’t be worse than Cam Thomas.

    Still need to draft someone tho, shouldn’t (and probably won’t) affect draft plans

  • The internets forcing us to hear u

  • Michael Mosgrove

    jason jones. jarvis jones. both are serviceable but nothing more.

  • vasteeler

    Jones always had good games against the steelers when he was with the titans

  • Michael Mosgrove

    you mean rollerskates? thats what cam thomas wore.

  • WreckIess

    Pretty much. Plus we don’t even know what Jason Jones can do as a 3-4 OLB and he’s about to be 30 before the season starts so his ceiling is pretty much what we’ve seen out of him. He doesn’t add much to the team that we don’t already have.

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    Solid depth?

  • Riverstko

    This guy use to destroy Ben when he played for the titans.

  • vasteeler

    I’d like to say thank you to heyward-bey, he turned down a more lucrative offer from the eagles to remain with the steelers, love guys like this on our team and info like this never gets reported so people dont even realize the sacrifices of some of these guys

  • Big Joe

    Can this guy hold a double team in the nickel? With only 2 down linemen on the field roughly 65% of the time now, I’m not understanding how he’ll stop the run if a team runs while we’re in nickel formation. It’d be no better than having Cam Thomas in there. He’d get blown off the line by a double and they’d run right at him. I can see him being a better pass rusher but that isn’t the whole problem we’d face in nickel. Can anyone speak to his ability to hold the POA against the run game?

  • John Parks

    Good depth move. Thats all he is. Find some more depth in the draft, the DL prospects are very deep this year.

  • Big Joe

    Yah but article suggests this as a possible move to add depth that could spell them for significant snaps. I’m having a hard time seeing that at 275 lbs unless he holds run POA really well and can pass rush as advertised.

  • Kelly Walker

    You seriously think he won’t be an upgrade over Cam Thomas? Remember when Tuitt was hurt Thomas was so bad that they moved McLendon to DE and put MCCULLERS in at NT and after that Thomas rarely played. Jones would be a huge upgrade over Thomas and Geathers.

  • vasteeler

    he provides depth and 3rd down pass rushing, huge upgrade over thomas

  • Steel PAul

    Seems the Steelers already have that size in Chickello.

  • Matthew Marczi

    He won’t be a 3-4 OLB. You do realize the Steelers spent over 2/3rds of their time as a 4-man front now right? Their base package is basically a nickel 4-3. OLBs as ends and ends as tackles. Colbert said earlier this offseason they would consider looking at 4-3 ends.

  • Kelly Walker

    I still hope Coates is the #4 WR. Wheaton will be gone next year and the Steelers would be better off if Coates is ready to be the replacement. I only say that because I want Coates to be the great replacement for Bryant in 2 years.

  • PittsburghSports

    Who knows if he’d be used as only 1 of 2 down lineman. Maybe they swap out one of the OLBs.

  • vasteeler

    i think he’ll definitely contribute this year, i’m interested in seeing if he has return capabilities

  • The Chin

    Exactly. We need quality help to spell Tuitt and Cam. Not sure he fits the bill. Maybe he does. How is he against the run?

  • CuldesacBill

    Alex likes either Billy Winn or Leger Douzable. I would take either of those guys over Jones.

  • Frank Cordaro

    If he signs: Jones is in the league for what 7 or 8 years does anyone remember Jason Jones but when he was with the Titans and played the DT he sacks the Steelers QB like 4 or 5 times…Im not saying he’s the same guy but he can help better then Thomas did.

  • PittsburghSports

    Just because the article suggests it doesn’t mean that’s what the Steelers are looking at him for. Maybe they have Tuitt take a break for a play, and have Heyward/McLendon/Jason Jones on the line, or something like that. This guy can’t do what Heyward and Tuitt do. We know that much.

  • WreckIess

    Yeah we all heard Colbert say they’ll be looking at more 4-3 edge guys and we’ve all read Korora’s defensive charts. That really wasn’t the main point of my comments…

  • PittsburghSports

    He sacked Ben 3.5 times in a game his rookie season lol. If we’re looking at this guy, surely we’re looking at Kevin Dodd from Clemson too.

  • Kelly Walker

    Man it sure would be nice if they can get someone to replace Brown as the return ace. Coates could be the answer

  • vasteeler

    it would be nice to start a drive outside the 20, he has the speed for it

  • 58Steel

    Need someone to give some pass rush in the nickel besides Cam and Tuitt. Wouldn’t be a bad signing and cheap.

  • WreckIess

    This is why I put it the way I did in my comment. Because he wouldn’t be a “DE” in our system. He would be an OLB. He’s not D line depth, he’s linebacker depth.

  • Jesse Bowman

    Or Emmanuel ogbah also would love to see him, Dupree,tuitt, and heyward as there nickel lineup

  • Jimbo

    I know they cannot afford a top rushing end. But they are a few defensive pieces away with Ben at the helm.
    If there ever was a time to spend it is now.

  • Jason Vancil

    LOL. Von Miller isn’t available.

  • PittsburghSports

    You’re constricting your thought too much between 34 DE and OLB. He is neither.

  • Jason Vancil

    This^^^ A lot of us, me included, need to re-train our brains in thinking in such stark terms between the 3-4 & 4-3. Hybrid defenders and schemes is the way forward with the Steelers.

  • RickM

    I love the idea of D-line help. But as has been stated, I prefers Alex’s preferred guys. 4.5 sacks in 542 snaps doesn’t sound impressive in terms of exerting pressure, and he turns 30 this May. I’d pass on him unless he comes very cheaply. Apparently he’s visiting Miami as well.

  • PittsburghSports

    From what I’ve read about how Jason Jones thinks he’s best utilized, it’s rushing the passer from the inside. I think he preferred playing DT on the 43 line, so maybe he is a Heyward/Tuitt replacement. Just the opposite end of the spectrum as say a Cam Thomas would be. You get a little more ability to rush the passer, and a little less ability stop the run.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    The nickel or another pass rush D could then be a scheme similar to WVU’s 3-5-3. Instead of OLB’s as DE’s you then have 3DL’s, 3 LB’s and 5 DB’s with 1or 2 up and people flying all over the place at the QB

  • Jonas

    Chickillo weighs 250. At least at the start of the season..

  • Shane Mitchell

    Only makes sense if they run their 3-4 tilted like the Broncos, if it is to give Heyward or Tuitt a rest. because he is too small to replace either player in their nickel package, Heyward and Tuitt usually line up heads up over the guards and 2 gap in their nickel alignment, he cant do that. Could play him as a rush end in the nickel and, try to get pressure rushing 4, but that takes an OLB off the field and limits some of the blitzes and coverage they like to use on third downs.

    I think it is most likely so they could run a variation of the tilted 3-4 the Broncos had so much success with this season, basically a 5-2 alignment with everyone penetrating a gap, running this alignment in the 3-4 they could slide Heyward down and wouldn’t need to find another NT.

  • WreckIess

    No because like I said it’s not the point. The point is that he’s not all that good. Which is why I said no more mediocre pass rushers.

  • Thomas

    According to a Lion’s blog he’s really good at run stopping but not great at rushing the passer. In the end though anyone would be better than Cam Thomas and if he can be brought in for a reasonable deal that would be awesome.

  • mokhkw

    Yep, I was in denial for quite some time on this, Steelers aren’t a 3-4 D any more, their “base” package is more akin to a 4-2-5 than a 3-4-4.

  • Sonny Saks

    I thought I saw someone write that they went up to 10 million in cap space? Any idea how? It seems like everyone thought timmons would be extended..

  • ATL96STEELER

    I’ve read the posts below…he’s a hybird in this D…4.5 sacks is mediocre, but the Steelers are looking for a depth guy to relieve the DEs…I can’t imagine this guy would get more than 20-25 snaps a game maybe….a depth guy with experience…I like it…the issue is how much will he cost?

    It does make me wonder about the confidence level they have in Walton and Lyons to be ready to contribute.

  • Douglas Andrews

    It’s actually smart business also. How many times have we seen guys sign big contracts that aren’t guaranteed only to be cut after year 1 or 2. I like the idea of signing the team friendly contract. It’s still no guarantee but for the amount he signed for he can easily be retained for the entire length of the contract.

  • PittsburghSports

    lol ok I got nothing to say about that, cause I really don’t know.

  • Joe Jackson

    Alex likes them, but do you? Haha.

  • SteelersDepot

    So, just like I wrote. I suggest you go watch his tape.

  • PittsburghSports

    Yeah I was a little to quick on the trigger lol. All the talk about 43 DEs and I figured that’s what he was, until I looked into it. Guess he played 3 tech his first 3 seasons and then switched between 3 and 5 for the remainder of his career.

  • stan

    I don’t think this would be a bad pick-up. If they are going to continue to play Heyward and/or Tuitt as a DT on passing downs it would be nice to have a guy like this to rush from a DE slot. He’s really not a bad player overall either. My only question is whether they would really keep a guy like this on the 45 or 53 man roster given his limitations. Are they really going to line him up as a DE in our 3-4 front if Tuitt or Heyward get hurt? That seems like a potential disaster if the other team runs at him. Remember, we don’t even have McLendon back in the fold yet so our run defense is up in the air.

  • The GreekGeek

    I’d be curious to hear from Kozora who he likes better: Jones or Douzable (or a backup on the current roster)?

  • Looked it up.

    Dec 21, 2008 started at RDT in place of Haynesworth. Going against Starks, Kemo, Hartwig, Stapler, and Colon. J. Kearse was at LDE so protection probably shifted away from him a good bit.

    He had a sack in the opener the next year against the Steelers as well.

  • PittsburghSports

    Yeah seems his biggest knock is consistency. At least that’s what I read. Haven’t watched any tape on him, nor do I remember much about him.