Last week the Pittsburgh Steelers elected to not give former number one draft pick Jarvis Jones the fifth year option that he could have received. While he’s far from the only member of the 2013 first round draft class to not get his option, that doesn’t make it any better and it sounds like it may get worse.
I was told over the weekend that Jones is none too happy about not only not getting his option year but that sharing time with 38-year old James Harrison isn’t making him real happy either.
If this in fact is the case, what does it mean for the Steelers?
The Steelers need to decide if keeping an allegedly disgruntled Jones around is worth it. Five sacks in three seasons plus injury issues would suggest the Steelers wouldn’t really be missing all that much. Add in the fact that the team appears to moving away from a traditional 3-4 defense and perhaps his services have really become obsolete.
What Jones has to do is look in the mirror and in the stat book. It’s one thing to have split time with Harrison or any other player but its another when you’re consistently being replaced on third downs. Why does that matter? Because in the NFL of today, teams throw the ball on third down at will and you need someone who can generate pressure on the passer. When you’re being replaced by a man as old as Harrison is then there’s clearly a problem and lack of confidence in your ability.
In 2015, Jones had six ‘quarterback hurries.’ James Harrison had 17 and Cam Heyward, playing from the interior had 21 to give this some perspective. Jones’ number isn’t acceptable and it definitely isn’t in Pittsburgh where pressure from the OLBs is a must.
Could the Steelers get something for him in a trade? I have to think it’s doubtful. There’s always the possibility of a sixth or seventh round pick from a team in desperate need of a run-stopping outside linebacker but this wouldn’t even happen until training camp time. That’s when teams start dealing with injuries and that’s when Jones’ services could most be in need.
Whether it comes to this or not is uncertain but I get the distinct feeling both parties would like to move on from each other.
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