Wide receiver/return man Jacoby Jones has now been cut for the second time this season, as Steelers PR man Burt Lauten announced (via Twitter) that the club has waived the veteran. To fill Jones’ roster spot, Pittsburgh has promoted safety Ross Ventrone off its practice squad.
The Steelers claimed Jones off waivers from the Chargers in early November, assuming the remainder of his $900K base salary. The 31-year-old was expected to provide a spark to Pittsburgh’s special teams unit, but he averaged just over three yards per return on punts and less than 25 yards per return on kickoffs. Notably, Jones botched two kicks in early December and hasnt’t seen any game action since those miscues.
Jones was due a non-guaranteed 2016 base salary of $3MM, so the Steelers have now cleared that total off next year’s books. (It never appeared remotely likely that Pittsburgh would keep Jones on its roster for the 2016 season, as its waiver claim looked to be a move for 2015 only). Jones is no longer a factor in clubs’ offensive game plans, and now that he’s struggled even in his special teams duties, he could struggle to find a deal next spring.
Ventrone, 29, is a career special-teamer with 22 career games to his name (including five this season with the Steelers). He’s bounced on and off Pittsburgh and New England’s practice squads this year, and he’ll look to provide some depth as the Steelers head into their regular season finale against the Browns.