49ers defensive tackle D.J. Jones has switched agencies and is now represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA), per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. The move is significant because Jones is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is eligible for an extension for the first time.
In 2019, Jones was a fairly unheralded member of San Francisco’s excellent defensive front, but he was clearly starting to come into his own. He started all 11 of the team’s games before succumbing to a season-ending ankle injury, and he established himself as a useful run-stuffer.
In 2020, he could have the opportunity to be more. The Niners traded DeForest Buckner to the Colts, and the team is not expected to make Arik Armstead a full-time defensive tackle. Additionally, Sheldon Day departed via free agency, and Jullian Taylor suffered a torn ACL late in the 2019 campaign. So while San Francisco could certainly add an interior defender or two in the coming months, Jones looks to be in line for a larger role. Maiocco suggests that Jones may end up taking some of Buckner’s pass-rushing snaps, which could obviously help him earn a larger payday.
The 2017 sixth-rounder out of Ole Miss did post two sacks last season — the first two of his career — despite being a predominantly two-down player. He is scheduled to earn $825K in 2020, unless he and the 49ers work out an extension ahead of time.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.