The Steelers are exploring the possibility of adding some pass-rushing help in free agency, and have expressed interest in veteran defensive end Jason Jones, sources tell Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Jones is said to have a visit with the Dolphins scheduled for today.
Jones, 29, has been a full-time starter in Detroit for the last two seasons, picking up a total of 9.5 sacks in his last two seasons. In 2015, Pro Football Focus ranked him 43rd out of 110 qualified edge defenders, assigning him solid grades as both as a pass rusher and a run defender.
While Jones typically plays defensive end in a 4-3 system, Fowler suggests that the Steelers are intrigued by the possibility of Jones being able to rush from the outside and slide inside when necessary. Pittsburgh runs a 3-4 base, but defensive coordinator Keith Butler runs more 4-3 looks than you’d think, says Fowler.
As we wait to see what happens with Jones, here’s more on free agents around the NFL:
- The “staredown” between the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick is continuing today, according to Michael Silver of the NFL Network, who tweets that New York is considering other options. Silver confirms that the Broncos are pondering Fitzpatrick as a backup plan. We heard earlier today that the Browns and Rams don’t have real interest in the veteran QB.
- Prince Amukamara visiting the Jaguars could be the first domino to fall in the cornerback market, tweets Peter Schrager of FOX Sports. While most top free agents are off the board, there are still a handful of intriguing corners available, including Casey Hayward, Brandon Boykin, Brett Grimes, and Patrick Robinson.
- Having lost Ladarius Green to the Steelers, the Chargers are exploring the free agent market for tight ends, and will bring in James Hanna for a visit today, writes Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Hanna, who has been a Cowboy for the last four seasons, is also reportedly on the Vikings’ radar.
- Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio, free agent tackle J’Marcus Webb said he has a visit set up with the Seahawks, but he also believes that the Raiders would like to re-sign him (Twitter link via Eddie Borsilli).
- After a heavy focus on skill positions on Thursday, the Patriots have linemen on the radar for today as they schedule free agent visits, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
Zach Links contributed to this post.