The new league year has officially started, and one of the first moves that was made was the Colts signing former Ravens defensive lineman Arthur Jones to a contract.
Colts are signing former Ravens DT Arthur Jones to a deal around $6 million per season, per sources— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2014
Multiple sources are reporting it other than Schefter, and it seems to be a 5-year deal for around $6 million a year. We've been following this closely here at Stampede Blue, as last night there were reports that the Colts and Jones had mutual interest and then this morning there was a report that the deal was expected to happen.
Here's what I wrote this morning about Jones:
"Jones is a good player who brings a lot to the Colts. It was clear to anyone watching the playoff game against the New England Patriots that the Colts needed to work on their run defense, and that had to begin along the defensive line. Even after signing D'Qwell Jackson, it was clear that they needed defensive line help, as Jackson isn't that great against the run. It all starts up front, however, and adding Jones will be a big boost to the defensive line. He fits the system well and is a good player.
"I also don't mind paying Jones $6-7 million a year. With numerous teams interested in him, I wouldn't have been surprised if it was higher, so I think this is a good deal and I don't think Ryan Grigson would be overpaying any more than is normal in free agency. And, regardless, they'll got a good player who fits the system and will help. That's the most important part.
"If Aaron Wilson's sources are correct - and they almost always are - that would leave the Colts with a number of defensive ends for just two spots. They have Cory Redding, Ricky Jean Francois, and just re-signed Fili Moala last night too. Several have asked how that will work out. First of all, the Colts are not getting rid of Cory Redding. He is one of the best defensive players on the team, a leader, and a good friend of Arthur Jones as well. He will be around in 2014, I guarantee it. Ricky Jean Francois, on the other hand, is someone who would seem like a cut candidate because of his play in 2013, the Jones move, and the fact that cutting him saves over $3 million in cap space. That said, however, I don't expect him to be cut. Instead, I think the Colts would keep them all and then as the 33-year old Redding's contract is up after this year, Jones might become the replacement to him. Jones' natural position is defensive end but he has also played nose tackle, a much bigger need for the Colts. IF the Colts don't sign a nose tackle (and it sounds like they are very interested in some), then Jones would likely play some of both positions, but primarily at defensive end."
A few additional notes now:
- I could really see Jones playing more nose tackle than I initially thought, but again, it depends on some other moves that the Colts might make. No matter where he plays, he will definitely help the line.
- I don't mind paying Jones $6 million a year whatsoever. This is a good move for the Colts.
Colts nation here I come!!!— Arthur Jones (@Artj97) March 11, 2014
Colts have agreed to a five-year, deal with Arthur Jones worth roughly $6 million annually, according to sources— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) March 11, 2014
The Arthur Jones deal averages $6.6 million a year and includes $16 guaranteed. That's huge money. Colts always willing to spend.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) March 11, 2014
"He is an outstanding producer down after down versus the run and pass. He's a guy who plays at a championship level week after week and lays it on the line every time he steps out on the field. He is a great fit for our team."