The Detroit Lions created a huge hole at defensive end after cutting veteran Kyle Vanden Bosch. This roster move added to the current free agency status of Cliff Avril make the position one of the weakest on the team.
The Lions are meeting with NFL free agent Jason Jones with the hopes of signing the defensive end to a new deal. Jones is a resident of Detroit, where he was born and also went to high school. Jones played basketball and football at Lathrup High School in Southfield, Michigan. After high school, Jones stayed in the state to attend Eastern Michigan University. I’m guessing Jones would be more than happy to play for his hometown Lions.
Seahawks DT Jason Jones, who lives in Detroit, is scheduling a visit with the Lions.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2013
The other reason I see the Lions being the favorite to sign Jason Jones is his connection to head coach Jim Schwartz. The Tennessee Titans drafted Jones in the 2008 NFL Draft with the 54th overall selection. During his four years with the Titans, Jones was led by then defensive coordinator Schwartz. Jones had his best years with the Titans and could become a valuable piece to a weak defense in Detroit.
In 2012, Jones had an off year as he was lost in the shuffle with the Seattle Seahawks. Jones recorded only 10 tackles and three sacks in 12 games played. Jones did not start a single game for the Seahawks during the year. In five seasons, Jones has 31 starts in 61 total games. In all five seasons, Jones has also recorded at least three sacks.
Back in his senior year at Eastern Michigan, Jones ranked 7th in the nation with 19.5 tackles for a loss. This was on top of a stellar college career. Jones has proven at every level that he is a playmaker and will greatly help the Lions pass rushing attack.
The Lions seem to benefit on more than one instance for the signing of Jones. The team has a local connection, a coaching connection, and catch Jones coming off a down season. In 2012, Jones had a base salary of $3.0 million and a total cap hit of $4.5 million. The Lions will be hoping for a hometown discount and a cheaper price than that.