Datone Jones

49ers Sign DE Datone Jones

It’s been a hectic season so far for defensive end Datone Jones as he’s now signed with his third team this season after agreeing to terms with the 49ers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Nevertheless, Jones brings much needed depth to a position that has already seen the losses of Arik Armstead and Tank Carradine for the season.

Datone Jones (vertical)

It’s been quite a ride over the past few months for the defensive lineman. The former first round pick was cut by Vikings during the preseason and was just released by the Lions so that the team could bring in young quarterback Brad Kaaya.

At 27 years old, Jones has just not been able to find his footing in the NFL. Since entering the league in 2013, the most sacks he’s recorded in a single-season was the 3.5 that he collected during rookie campaign. The Packers decided to move on from Jones this past spring after the defensive end produced just 22 tackles and one sack in 15 games last year. San Francisco represents Jones’ latest chance to turn around his career, though he’ll have to battle to even get playing time with the likes of Aaron Lynch, Solomon Thomas and Elvis Dumervil ahead of him on the depth chart.

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Lions Claim QB Brad Kaaya

The Lions have claimed quarterback Brad Kaaya off waivers and signed a pair of players – defensive end Jacquies Smith and offensive tackle Bryce Harris, per Field Yates of ESPN.com and Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). To make room, the Lions have cut defensive linemen George Johnson, Datone Jones and Caraun Reid.Brad Kaaya (vertical)

Kaaya first broke into the league as a sixth-round pick of Detroit in 2016. Although he didn’t have the arm strength of others in his class, scouts were enamored with his football IQ and poise. When he was displaced from the Lions’ roster in early September, the Panthers were there waiting to grab him off of waivers. Now, he’s back where he started after the Panthers booted him in favor of Garrett Gilbert.

Smith, 27, was a serviceable edge rusher for the Buccaneers (13.5 sacks combined in 2014 and 2015) before a torn ACL shut him down just one game into the 2016 season. This fall, he was cut by Tampa Bay, freeing him up to try out for the Lions this week.

Johnson spent the 2014 season with the Lions and proved to be an effective edge rusher. They circled back to him this year and they were optimistic about what he could do.

He’s still the same guy that works extremely hard, heavy-handed guy that can make some things happen and the rest of it we’ll see,” coach Jim Caldwell said in September. “I mean, he had an outstanding year that year, and those are hard to duplicate, but he will contribute to our team.”

Johnson had six sacks for the Lions in 2014, but he recorded just two tackles in four games for them this year.

Jones signed with Detroit on October 10, but did not suit up for the Lions in their last game. He never got to actually play for the Lions, but on the plus side, he can say that he has been with three of the NFC North’s four teams.

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Lions To Sign DE Datone Jones

Former Packers defensive end Datone Jones is signing with the Lions, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Jones spent the summer with the Vikings, so he’s getting a good tour of the NFC North. Datone Jones

Jones joined Minnesota in the spring with the hope that he would thrive in a 4-3 defense. That didn’t quite happen and health issues in late August left him on the outs.

The 27-year-old will slot in behind starting defensive ends Ezekiel Ansah and Anthony Zettel. He might not be able to play up to the expectations laid out for him when he was a first-round draft pick, but he could be a worthwhile rotational piece for Detroit.

George Johnson, Jeremiah Valoaga, and Cornelius Washington are also on the roster for DE support.

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49ers Work Out Datone Jones, Jayrone Elliott

Datone Jones‘ workout tour continued this week when the former Packers cog auditioned for the 49ers, Howard Balzer of SportsOnEarth reports (on Twitter).

The fifth-year defensive lineman has also worked out for the Bears, Lions, Patriots and Jets since the Vikings cut him from their IR list in September.

Interestingly, the 49ers also worked out ex-Packer edge defender Jayrone Elliott, per Balzer. Jones left the Packers in free agency, but Elliott became expendable after the Packers agreed to a deal with 49ers castoff Ahmad Brooks. Green Bay’s also using ex-San Francisco defensive lineman Quinton Dial as a rotational piece this season.

Elliott was Jones’ teammate for three seasons with the Packers, but he couldn’t stick as a second-unit pass rusher before being traded to the Cowboys. Dallas subsequently waived the fourth-year player later last month, and Elliott worked out for the Saints, Seahawks and Jets before voyaging to the Bay Area for his latest audition.

The 49ers also worked out tight ends Cole Wick and Standish Dobard, along with cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olumu. Additionally, Balzer reports (on Twitter) safeties Antone Exum, Chris Prosinski and Deron Washington worked out for the Niners.

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Bears Work Out Datone Jones

The Bears brought in three players for a tryout on Monday, including former Green Bay defensive end Datone Jones, an NFL source tells Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). Defensive end Howard Jones and defensive back Doran Grant also showed their stuff for Chicago. Datone Jones

Jones signed on with the Vikings this offseason but injuries took him off track. Just prior to the season opener, Minnesota waived Jones from IR, allowing them to save on more than half of his one-year, $3.75MM deal. Since then, he’s tried out for a number of teams, including the Patriots, Lions, and Jets, but has not found a taker.

Jones, 27, has never quite lived up to his first round draft status, but he did make some strides in 2016. Last year, Jones logged a career-high four starts and amassed 548 snaps across 15 games.

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NFL Workout Updates: 9/19/17

Today’s workout updates:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Patriots, Lions Worked Out DL Datone Jones

The Patriots auditioned free agent defensive lineman Datone Jones today, while the Lions did the same on Saturday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link) and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link).Datone Jones (vertical)

If signed by New England, Jones would likely play a role similar to that of incumbent options Deatrich Wise or Adam Butler, tweets Doug Kyed of NESN — that is, an edge player who can slide inside on passing downs. A former first-round pick, Jones is capable of playing either in a 3-4 or 4-3 front, and his scheme versatility could prove valuable for a Patriots club that prides itself on flexibility.

While the Patriots are short on edge defenders, the Lions are arguably even less equipped along the front seven. Kerry Hyder, last season’s breakout contributor, is done for the season with a torn Achilles, while Khyri Thornton and Armonty Bryant won’t return from suspension until midseason. Detroit should have a well-formulated view of Jones after facing him as a member of the division rival Packers in each of the past four years.

Now entering his age-27 campaign, Jones has never quite lived up to his draft status, and surprisingly couldn’t make the squad in Minnesota even after inking a one-year, $3.75MM pact that included $1.6MM in guarantees. Jones logged a career-high four starts and amassed 548 snaps across 15 games last season, when he added 22 tackles, a sack and ranked 70th in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 110 qualified edge defenders.

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Vikings Cut DL Datone Jones From IR

The Vikings have released defensive lineman Datone Jones from injured reserve after reaching an injury settlement, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Datone Jones

Jones, a former first-round pick of the Packers, signed with the Vikings in the spring, presumably with the hope that a shift to a 4-3 defense would allow him to flourish. Expected to play three-technique and end, Jones simply never stood out, and head coach Mike Zimmer admitted in late August that Jones wasn’t a roster lock. Ultimately, Minnesota went with other options — such as undrafted rookie Tashawn Bower — over Jones.

The 27-year-old Jones, who’s posted nine sacks over four NFL seasons, inked a one-year, $3.75MM deal to join the Vikings. While he won’t collect that entire total, Jones will take home at least $1.838MM for his short stay in Minnesota, as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets.

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Vikings’ 53-Man Roster Set

The Vikings made their mandatory cuts to pare their roster down to the 53-man ceiling. Here are the rearrangements Minnesota made to set its regular-season roster.


Placed on IR:

Placed on Reserve/PUP list:

Placed on Reserve/NFI list:

Placed on Reserve/Suspended list:

Vikings Place DE Datone Jones On IR

The Vikings are placing defensive end Datone Jones on injured reserve due to his shoulder injury, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He’ll likely then reach an injury settlement with the team, allowing him to explore other options.

Recently, head coach Mike Zimmer indicated that Jones was on the roster bubble.

“At times he’s had a good stretch and then stretches where he reverts back,” Zimmer said in late August.

The Vikings gave Jones a one-year, $3.75MM deal in March. The pact included a $1.6MM signing bonus, so it’s a deal that the front office regrets. On the plus side, the team saved $2.19MM by cutting ties with him now.

Jones spent the first four years of his career with the rival Packers. A first round pick in 2013, he never fulfilled his promise in Green Bay. Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked him No. 70 out of 110 qualified edge defenders.