The Indianapolis Colts this morning announced that they have released defensive tackle Arthur Jones.
This was a move that everyone knew was coming at some point this offseason, but it’s now official. In 2014, he signed a five-year, $33 million deal with the Colts that hasn’t worked out for Indianpaolis. Last year, he took a paycut to stay with the team, but this year the Colts simply cut him. Jones had a $7.35 million cap hit this year, and while the Colts will eat $2.2 million in dead money they still save $5.15 million by cutting Jones - and since he unfortunately hasn’t been able to stay healthy or contribute it was a move that made a ton of sense.
Jones was signed as a big-money free agent by the Colts in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. In three seasons with the Colts, Jones played in just 17 games (out of a possible 48), starting eleven of them. In 2014, Jones was injured early in the year and missed a significant period of time trying to recover. In 2015, he missed the entire season. Then in 2016, he missed the first four games for a PED suspension and then wound up on IR in December after starting eight games. So three injuries and a PED suspension in three years, coupled with the lack of production and the big cap number this year, made it an easy decision to move on from him.
The Colts have depth along the defensive line too, as Henry Anderson, Kendall Langford, David Parry, Al Woods, Hassan Ridgeway, T.Y. McGill, Margus Hunt, and Kristjan Sokoli are currently among the players who will be competing for time and spots, and it’s possible that the Colts will add another player or two as well. So they had the flexibility to move on from Jones too, since they’re not desperate for defensive tackle help.
Ultimately, this move is one that fans have been expecting since the end of last year, and while there was no rush for the Colts to make it, it’s now official. The Colts already had a significant amount of cap room remaining, and this move clears up even more.