Jason Jones is a great addition to a line that needs great additions
The Seahawks have signed Jason Jones, who has been an undersized (6-5, 276 lbs) defensive tackle in Tennessee while experiencing some injuries in his young career. I understand how bringing in a guy who has 15.5 career sacks doesn’t garner the enthusiasm of an entire fanbase. If Peyton Manning were to sign with the Seahawks there would be a parade. No kidding, a fucking parade. I may not even be planned, but people would just stampede the Clink.
No parade for Jones.
But Jones is the kind of versatile lineman that the Seahawks needed. One of the main things that made me think that Mario Williams was worth paying for is that he would have added gameday depth at every line position, because he can play every line position. While Jones isn’t an ideal Leo, he’s athletic enough to be more than a non-factor there, and can be very successful in all other positions on the defensive line.
With Red Bryant back, and Brandon Mebane, Alan Branch, and Chris Clemons on the roster, signing Jones really mitigates the Seahawks need to draft a pass rusher early. They can wait until the mid rounds and find a guy who can play either the end position, or perhaps even find an outside linebacker to add some pass rush. One of my personal favorites in such a context would be Vinny Curry from Marshall. Curry doesn’t have absolutely elite athleticism, but he’s plenty athletic to play standing up in the Leo, and big enough to play with his hand on the ground and rotate Red Bryant inside or to the sidelines on pass downs.
Earlier in the week I had a longer-than-expected argument with Kramer on Twitter over the Seahawks needs and how they relate to championship contention. One of the things he brought up is that the Giants, who have won two recent Super Bowls, won both with deep rotations on their defensive line. Totally true. I contended however, that it wasn’t necessary to obtain members of such a rotation through the first round of the draft. Only Jason Pierre-Paul started on the Giants defensive line and was picked in the first round by the team.
Jones is a perfect addition for such a team, and relates to Justin Tuck in such a rotation. I’m not saying he’s as good as Tuck is today, but may be as good as Tuck was before his breakout 2007 season.
I will update this post when I know the terms of the deal, but a one-year deal for a good athlete who has underperformed in his career is a great way for average teams to find above average talent. If Jones is terrible he’s gone after the season, if he’s so great that his value skyrockets, and he wants to cash in while the Seahawks want to get some value from him, they can Franchise tag him. And if he’s somewhere in the middle they’ll have an exclusive negotiating period with him if they want to bring him back.
The reality though, is that improving their pass rush was probably the Seahawks biggest need apart from upgrading their quarterback position, and Jones does that.
UPDATE: Jones signs for one-year, $4.5 million, with $500K in incentives. Even better.